Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian urged Armenians on Monday to give his government more time to address socioeconomic problems facing the country, admitting that they were not alleviated in 2014.
“Clearly, this government could not have solved within eight months the problems that had been accumulated for years. But we will try to solve those problems and for that we ask our public for patience and time,” Abrahamian told reporters at a New Year’s reception organized for them in his office.
“We did not manage to ensure that the people in our country are more prosperous, the way we want them to be,” he said when asked about the failings of his cabinet formed in April 2014. “Since we have declared that citizens’ welfare is our number one priority I, for example, wish poverty had decreased and more jobs had been created.”
“I am convinced that we will solve those problems in 2015 and 2016,” he added.
Economic growth in Armenia in 2014 may well have fallen short of a 4 percent target set by the authorities due to growing knock-on effects of an unfolding recession in Russia. The Russian economy is projected to contract next year as a result of lower oil prices and sanctions imposed by the West. Nevertheless, Economy Minister Karen Chshmaritian said on December 4 that the government continues to stand by its forecast that the Armenian economy will grow by 4 percent in 2015.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a lower growth rate: 3.3 percent.