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Armenian government's position on electricity fees unchanged

June 26, 2015, 20:38 UTC+3 (updates quotes
Goar Pogosian, the official spokesperson for the country's Prime Minister, said it when TASS asked her about a possible consideration of the conditions put forward by protesters in Yerevan
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© Karo Sahakyan/PAN Photo via AP

YEREVAN, June 26. /TASS/. Armenian government's position on the planned hike of electricity fees remains unchanged, Goar Pogosian, the official spokesperson for the country's Prime Minister said on Thursday.

She said it when TASS asked her about a possible consideration of the conditions put forward by participants in street protests in Yerevan, where crowds of people have been protesting against the government's plans to raise the fees by 16% as of August 1.

"Prime Minister Ovik Abramian declared the cabinet's position on the problem clearly at yesterday's session of the government," Pogosian said. "Nothing has changed since yesterday."

Earlier on Thursday, the "Say No to Robbery" public initiative group, the members of which make up the majority of the people protesting the rise of fees, laid out its demands to the authorities.

In the first place, the activists continue insisting on a repeal of the decision by the Commission for Public Services and Utilities to raise the fees for electricity by 16% as of August 1. Also, they demand a downward revision of electricity fees.

Thirdly, the activists demand that the policemen who used force against peaceful demonstrators on Yerevan’s Marshal Bagramian Avenue on June 23 and those who gave the orders to do it be punished.

Protests in Armenia

On June 17, 2015, the Commission for Public Services and Utilities partially endorsed a request by the Armenian Power Grids electricity distributor, which is a filial company of Russia’s INTER RAO UES corporation, to raise the tariffs for electricity by 16%.

The first action of protest took place in downtown Yerevan on the same day. Its organizers felt apprehensive of a sweeping growth of commodity prices and service tariffs, which the hike of electricity fees might trigger.

On June 19, similar actions took place in other cities.

On June 23, police used force while dispersing a demonstration in the capital. A total of eighteen people, including eleven police officers, were injured and 237 were detained but released soon afterwards.

Prime Minister Abramian made public the government’s decision on Thursday to pay out compensations to low-income families but actions of protest in Yerevan and other cities continued in spite of announcement of the measure.

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