by Karina Manukyan
The "pension" scandal in Armenia's National Opera is on the wane.
On Monday the Opera's employees refused to go onstage in protest against the deductions made by their managers from their wages in compliance with the compulsory accumulate pension system imposed by the Government on Jan 1 2014.
Armenia's Deputy Culture Minister Artur Poghosyan met with the team the next day. He said that on Jan 1 2014 their wages were raised by 20%, of which the people were not aware: it turned out that their managers failed to raise the wages for January.
Poghosyan also said that on July 1 2014 the Government is planning to raise the wages of cultural workers. He promised that the authorities will consider alternative financing for the company's projects.
The press service of Armenia's Culture Ministry reports that the managers of the Opera were aware of the Government's abovementioned decisions.
According to the new pension system, employees will have to contribute 5% of their wages to pension funds. On Feb 6 several thousand people went into the streets to express their protest against the system. They are displeased with not only the system as such but also with the absurd situation that followed the Constitutional Court's decision to suspend some of the articles of a new law on pension system: even though on Jan 24 the Court decided to suspend article 76 and to free from responsibility those who will not pay compulsory pension contributions until the Court makes a final decision on the law on Mar 28, the Finance Ministry has obliged governmental agencies and some other employers to retain the necessary sums from the wages of their employees.