On June 21, leader of “Adekvad” Party Arthur Danielyan made a number of remarkable statements during the TV program “In Front of the Mirror”. Fip.am checked a few of them to see if they correspond to the reality.
Arthur Danielyan states: “In January or February, I saw that our wholesale trade increased by 30 percent while automobile cargo transportation dropped by 80 percent.”
According to the data published by the RA statistical committee, wholesale trade in January 2019 increased by 31.4% compared to January 2018, and by 12.3% in February.
As regards the volume of automobile transportation, it should be noted that the statistical committee presents this data on cargo transportation by Armenian rolling stock, which is lower than in January but not by 80%, as noted by Danielyan, but by 43.7%. By the way, this indicator increased by 28.3% already in February compared to February 2018, and by 3.5 compared to January.
Industry and electricity consumption
Danielyan also notes, “The industry grows and energy consumption decreases by 30%. I understand that the numbers are simply forged.”
The industry grew by 4.5% in January-April 2019, while electricity generation, transmission and distribution decreased by 4.1% and not by 30% as Danielyan claims.
Budget revenues and taxes
“We have budget revenues that have not changed in any way since last year. Generated tax liabilities are almost the same,” Danielyan says.
State budget revenues increased by 25% in January-March 2019, as compared to the same period in 2018.
As for taxes and duties, in January-March 2019 they increased by 24.9% compared to the same period the previous year. Danielyan probably means the dynamics of the monthly taxation indicators, which, however, is not a basis for formulating an opinion on tax administration. Different taxes have different collection dates, as defined in the Tax Code. Consequently, the index for one month or one quarter cannot reflect the whole tax collection picture.
Arthur Danielyan calls Healthcare Minister Arsen Torosyan a “representative of the Soros elite”.
However, Minister’s spokesperson Alina Nikoghosyan told Fip.am that Arsen Torosyan and his affiliated structures have not received any grants from the Open Society Foundation neither before nor after he became minister.
Overthrow of the constitutional order
Danielyan reiterated the view expressed by many of the opponents of the current authorities that the authorities “have overthrown the constitutional order several times”. Fip.am has already addressed this issue, in particular, on blocking the court entrances on May 20 upon the call of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, revealing that there was no overthrow of constitutional order there.
Danielyan claims that according to figures provided by the authorities the economy has grown “but the budget does not grow at the same rate for some reason, and this can mean two things, either corruption has sharply increased, or shadow economy, which is also true, but also partly, because they have forged numbers.”
The statement on corruption is not measurable, but at least there is a definite positive shift in public perceptions. In October 2018, a public opinion poll by IRI found that the respondents most frequently mentioned reduced level of corruption as the achievement of current authorities. Moreover, 82% of respondents expressed an opinion that progress has been registered in the fight against corruption over the past six months.
President Armen Sarkissian
Danielyan insists that President Armen Sarkissian had a “very profitable deal” with British Petroleum (BP) after being dismissed from his post as Prime Minister in 1997.
“How can the Prime Minister of the country be dismissed from his post and have deals with BP on very favorable terms a year later? The BP, which is actually a strategic partner of our enemy country…” Danielyan said.
It is mentioned in the official biography of President Sarkissian that he has been chief adviser to a number of international companies in 2000-2013. British Petroleum is among them. This company, indeed, operates in Azerbaijan since 1992, but besides Azerbaijan, this British oil and gas company, founded in 1908, is represented in 60 countries, including Russia and Georgia. Introducing BP as a “strategic partner of the enemy country” and drawing parallels with Sarkissian’s cooperation with this company are manipulative actions.
Thus, some of Arthur Danielyan’s statements contain manipulative or false information.