YEREVAN (Arm.info)—The No To Plunder movement will stage a march beginning in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on September 11 at 6:30PM to protest the rise of electricity tariffs in Armenia, Maxim Sargsyan, an organizer with the movement, said at a press conference today in Yerevan.
The planned march on September 11 comes one week after about 100 members of the No To Plunder movement clashed with police on Yerevan’s Marshal Baghramyan Avenue on September 1, the site of a large-scale sit-in protest that lasted for about two weeks in June and July.
“On September 1, we launched the second phase of the fight against the electricity price hike. We did it because we saw that the countries’ authorities brazenly deceived people and failed to keep their promises,” Sargsyan said.
“I urge all citizens to join us on September 11 in our fight for justice. I also call on small and medium- sized businesses to join the protest because they have proved to be the most vulnerable in the current situation. We have only one demand—the authorities should abolish the decision on growth in electricity tariffs,” said Sargsyan.
Sargsyan added that the Armenian government releases vague statements that cause confusion even in the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA), the Russian-owned power distribution company that proposed the tariff increase to Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) earlier this year.
“The company does not understand what part [of the tariff increase] will be compensated for by the government. Moreover, we have received statements from various regions of Armenia and they say that their electric power tariffs have been raised. So, it is time to stop this outrage,” said Sargsyan.
The increase in electricity tariffs came into effect in Armenia on August 1. Opposition groups and civil society largely found the ENA’s request to increase tariff prices groundless and cause for protest. Before 1 August, 2015, the daytime and nighttime tariffs on electricity were 41.85 AMD per 1 kWh and 31.85 AMD per 1 kWh, respectively. The ENA requested raising the tariffs to 58 AMD and 48 AMD, respectively. However, on June 17, the PSRC partially satisfied the ENA’s request by increasing the tariffs by 6.93 AMD instead of the requested 17 AMD.