Nalbandian: Racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance grossly violate human dignity and give rise to tensions within and between societies. That is why the fight against them became one of the main priorities of our chairmanship.
by Karina Manukyan
On February 10, the artists of the National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet after A. Spendiaryan boycotted Anush Opera to express their protest against the mandatory accumulative pension system introduced in Armenia. Members of the public interest group "I'm Against!" also joined the protest. Spectators were reluctant return their tickets and leave.
People are discontented not only at the mandatory component of the system but also at the absurd situation following the Constitutional Court's decision of January 24 that suspended some provisions of the Law on the Accumulative Pension until the Court considers its constitutionality on Mar 28 2014. The Court suspended Article 76 stipulating responsibility for refusing to make compulsory pension contributions or failing to do in time and Paragraph 3 of Article 86 saying that the employees covered by the system should choose a pension fund. Nevertheless, the Finance Ministry of Armenia urges employers to calculate and make accumulative pension payments and employees to choose a pension fund and a manager for it. The picketers call the given approach a robbery.
Earlier on 6 February, another large-scale protest against the pension reform was held. Then, employees of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and Haypost Company joined the action of protest against the mandatory accumulative pension system.