The Armenian government intends to do away with five of the currently operating 17 ministries
A protest demonstration against the ‘optimisation’ of ministries and personnel downsizing took place in front of the Armenian government building yesterday.
The employees who declared the strike were from departments that will be affected by the downsizing and whose departments will be abolished.
Which ministries will be ‘optimised’?
The government has declared that five of the currently-existing 17 ministries will be affected:
- The Ministry of Culture as well as the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs will merge with the Ministry of Education and Science;
- The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Territorial Administration will merge with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology;
- The Ministry of the Diaspora will be eliminated entirely.
Demands of the strikers
The strikers demand that the departmental cutbacks and merging of ministries be abandoned.
“We wrote a letter addressed to the Acting Prime Minister of Armenia. It also explains, in particular, why the Ministry of Culture should function as a separate department. The merger of the ministry will reduce its role,” says Harutyun Vanyan, an employee of the Ministry of Culture.
The Armenian authorities explained that the country’s current governmental system was inefficient, and thus needs to be optimised – originally, the plan was to halve the number of ministries.
“We really have a very bloated system of government, in parallel with which there are also other structures that perform the same functions as some ministries or individual departments. We hope that such optimisation will significantly affect the salaries of civil servants and their motivation,” said Acting First Deputy Prime Minister Ararat Mirzoyan.