Trade Union Committee Chairman Denies Azg Daily’s Reports

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Armenian government hasn’t granted the staff of the "Armenia" hotel the priority right to buy 20 percent of the hotel’s shares–the chairman of the local trade union committee–Vigen Kazarian told Noyan Tapan–disproving the information published in the "Azg" daily on February 5.

Kazarian said that the "AK Development" company will enjoy the priority right to buy 20 percent of the still unsold shares within the next two years. In August the "AK Development" company purchased 80 percent of the hotel’s shares for $8,000,000 and the territory of the hotel was leased for 99 years.

The staff of the hotel made an application to the Ministry of Privatization for the priority right to be transferred to them if the owner of the hotel refused to exercise this right. The staff hopes that they will be able to buy 20 percent of shares worth $2 million with one thousand employees (in the last ten years) participating in the deal.

The trade union members said that under the agreement signed with the government–the new owners of the hotel were liable to pay $4.4 million by August 31–1998. Another $3.6 million were to be paid 90 days later.

Furthermore–the "AK Development" company pledged to invest $22,000,000 in the hotel. Official institutions did not provide any information about the "AK Development" company’s investmen’s. Therefore–the staff of the hotel is prone to think that the owners violated the agreement–which provides grounds for invalidating it.

Meanwhile–the director general of the "Armenia" hotel–representative of the "Mariott" international company–Anil Sampat stated that the owners of the hotel have already started making investmen’s in the hotel. He didn’t mention the volume of the investmen’s made. According to him–preparations are being made for modernizing the hotel in June-July.

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