Armenian opposition MP urges protest against telecom giant's monopoly

2 Nov 04


"I call on everyone who is concerned about the country's fate to
gather on Republic Square outside the government building at 1100
[0700 gmt] next Thursday [4 November]. Armenian citizens have the
right to demand that a resolution of the Armenian Constitutional Court
be fulfilled, Arshak Sadoyan, MP and leader of the National Democrats
bloc, which is part of the opposition Justice bloc, has said.

By making a decision to grant the ArmenTel company a monopoly in the
field of IP-telephony on this day, the government intends ''to sell
the future of our children'', he said. "With the current extremely low
living standards and mass emigration, it is impossible to allow a hike
in the price of Internet telephone communications, which will be
caused by the handover of the monopoly on this sphere to ArmenTel. I
have repeatedly said that it is high time to deprive this company of
its monopoly in all spheres. In early 1999, the Armenian
Constitutional Court made a decision obliging the country's leadership
to deprive ArmenTel of its monopoly within five year after the
investment. As the contract on the sale of ArmenTel to Greece's
Telecommunications Organization (OTE) clearly says that its activity
should be only in line with the laws of our country, all talks about
possible sanctions against Armenia, if the monopoly is taken away, is
a simple bluff," Sadoyan said.

[Passage omitted: A reminder of a statement by IP companies that
ArmenTel should not be given more rights]