ArmNews TV Didn’t Air My Interview Because I Criticized Armenian Authorities, Says Economist
A few days ago, ArmNews TV had invited economist Movses Aristakesyan for a televised interview; however, some time after the interview was conducted, the TV station called Aristakesyan and informed him that the interview won’t be aired. This news was conveyed to Epress.am on Thursday by Aristakesyan, who also happens to be a member of the local opposition bloc the Armenian National Congress.
The economist also mentioned that prior to the start of the interview, he was asked not to criticize state authorities. According to Aristakesyan, that’s censorship, and “they’re simply not used to broadcasting critical news.”
“First, they changed the issues on which I was going to speak, though it wasn’t difficult for me to prepare for the new questions,” he said.
The economist also described how during the interview he was told the authorities are working on decreasing the shadow economy, he said:
“The proposed budget that meets international standards might seem improbable to naysayers who say that the state budget doesn’t have the means. We can say to the naysayers that our economy in its current state has the means. It’s enough to look at the wealth of our billionaires and millionaires, the many elite residential buildings constructed in the country, the castles and the mansions, the high-class vehicles circling the country, the lifestyle of the newly rich and their family members — drawing conclusions will be quite easy. We just have to eliminate the causes of corruption.”
Aristakesyan pointed out that he had encountered a similar issue before. In another interview to ArmNews that he gave two months ago, he criticized the policy adopted by the country’s prime minister. This interview, which, according to Aristakesyan, was to have been aired eight times, was broadcast only twice.
“Most likely at first they weren’t attentive, that I had criticized [a state official], but then seeing it, they took it off air,” he said.
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