YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"The phenomenon is tragic–but making it out to be more tragic does greater harm. No one has calculated that the outflow of the population is of mass character," Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan said at a parliamentary meeting–responding to parliament member Ruben Gevorgian’s question concerning the mass outflow of the population and the press’s negative role in the process.
The prime minister said: "There is an outflow of the population–but it is not of a mass character. If we believe our press and political figures who state that the population has been leaving the country since 1991–then there should be no residents left in Armenia today."
The prime minister said that this phenomenon should be dealt with via solutions to not only social and economic problems–but also to ideological and moral issues. According to Sargsyan–emigration is a problem that requires a comprehensive solution. Pointing out that Armenia has never had a state program of settling ideological and moral problems–the prime minister urged political forces to agree on the afore-mentioned issues–and the government will include them in its program for 2000. He gave assurances that this issue is one of his top-priority tasks and he expects proposals from political parties.