Monday, 11 May 2009

RIP: "European Movement in Armenia"

It’s almost impossible to shock me. Well, never say never, as they say. Today is one of those exceptional moments. I am speechless. No words.

RFE/RL reports that “The Armenian affiliate of a renowned pan-European non-governmental organization [The European Movement in Armenia (EMA)] on Monday proclaimed Gagik Tsarukian, a controversial tycoon and politician, Armenia’s “best European of the year” for what it described as his promotion of European political culture in the country.”

If you think you've read the news, think again.

Keep reading: “In a statement, the EMA paid tribute to Tsarukian for “spreading European traditions in Armenia’s political and public fields” and assisting in a “generation change” in the local political arena. It also praised his “active participation” in the Armenian parliament’s committee on European integration. The EMA, some of whose projects are funded by the European Union, did not specify just how the former arm wrestler has contributed to Armenia’s democratization and closer ties with Europe.”

Read the rest of the story...

*photo - RFE/RL; /emphasis mine/


Onnik Krikorian said...

It says "Read the rest of the story..." at the bottom of your post.

I don't I think want to. What I've seen is enough and I don't know if want to laugh or cry...

artmika said...

You may think you've seen and heard it all in Armenia, and then you get this 'news', and you understand that there are no limits of ridiculousness...

...and this organisation receives funding from the EU for this???

If this is "European Movement in Armenia", it can Rest in Peace!

nazarian said...

Maybe they mean spreading European traditions found in Napoli or Sicily?

Ani said...

Uh-oh, Nazarian and I are starting to think alike...

artmika said...

Yes, when Nazarian left that comment I remembered your tweet :)

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

He payed them. Europeans are completely corrupt, themselves.

I think it's hilarious. Watching Europeans kiss Armenian ass is, erm, heartwarming. So what if the mafia does it? We'll deal with them inside. Outside is all just theater.

I wonder how much it costs to become "Best European of the Year."

Onnik Krikorian said...

Firstly, there is nothing to suggest that "he payed them" so that's just speculation from Armen Filadelfiatsi.

What is more to the point is how international organizations pay little attention to politicized civil society structures here.

The same concerns apply to even pro-opposition NGOs, but is especially true when it comes to GONGOS.

The real answer as to why this happens probably lies with the local Armenians who run the organization here:, concerns should be expressed about why this organization is allowed to function as it does.

To counter Armen's claims, I'd say if corruption in Armenia could be reduced to the levels in Europe in 10 years I'd be happy.

As it stands, I'd doubt that possible within the next 50 years. Even so, I do believe that a lack of oversight and transparency from the EU does not help.

Same goes for USAID, OSI, EPF etc. Virtually all NGOs and GONGOs are riddled with corruption and nepotism here.

It's the culture, but something which needs to be stamped out. This isn't speculation on my behalf. It's first hand experience.

Anonymous said...

What corrupt Europeans Armen?
Your thinking is in line with Gagik Tsarukyan who in infamous interview to Shant TV last week said that electoral bribing is a very normal practice in US, Russia and Europe.
People who make comparisons of Armenia with Western Europe in corruption make me laugh. I thought it was only the people who had never left Armenia, but your nickname proves me wrong.
This culture of bribing, ballot staffing and beating up opponents and then calling it an international practice is very Middle Eastern. We love to distance ourselves from the other countries in the region and get offended at being called Middle-Eastern but in spite of the massive golden crosses some of us wear on their necks, we're a very much backward Middle Eastern hypocrytical autocracy and that's the award Gagik Tsarukyan should get- Gago Agha Yakhshi Txa.

nazarian said...

Archuk, here in the US we have a very low opinion of the Europeans.

Anonymous said...

This new would be laugh out loud funny if it weren't so sad.

I'm wondering how stiff (and who) the competition was that Tsarukyan faced.

Anonymous said...

If rape is a European tradition, then Tsarukian is the right person to spread it.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Don't worry, Onnik, you'll get your wish: In ten years time, all the mafia players in Armenia will turn into great philanthropists through their PR firms or else disappear from public view, just like European oligarchs.

And that is what Tsarukian is doing: buying legitimacy.

It is possible to prosecute corruption at the middle and lower levels, but the people at the top always get away with it. They're the ones who start wars.
Everybody knows...

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...


I don't mind being called Middle Eastern at all. In fact, when I'm in a situation where my being a West Asian person causes tension, I tend to intensify the tension to the point where something snaps.

As a matter of fact, there is an enormous amount of corruption in Europe, you just don't see it, because the corrupt own the media; they've been at the game for so long, they've been able to give themselves an air of legitimacy.

From colonial plantation owners getting rich off of other peoples land while raping their women and children, to the millionaire financier maggots of today who have bankrupted their European governments smoking crack with Wall Street, they are, and they always have been, corrupt.

I'd say, "Wake Up!" Except we are so far into the game now that maybe it would be better for you to be sleeping when this freight train slams into the side of the mountain.

Anonymous said...

Dear Conspiracy theorist Armen,
I do have a few friends who share your views on the world order (I checked your blog-quite impressive), but even you guys have to admit that corruption Armenian way and what you call European corruption are very different.
You can't buy a judge seat in Europe you can in Armenia.
You can't buy a place at Oxford University, you can at YSU.
Police don't take bribes, prosecutors don't take bribes,more importantly judges don't, unlike Armenia, of course.
MPs don't beat people up in the street.
Business world is different and this is where comparisons can be made. In business, whatever country you are in your main goal is the maximisation of profit and this is where people will do anything they can get away with and this is where the state has to interfere not to allow violations. At the same time the state depends on big businesses for revenue so it's a tricky balancing act which governments don't always get right.
Going back to Dodi Gago, his 'prize' and the 'corrupt Europeans' your statement is ridiculous. sorry.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Well, I guess the onus is on you to explain for what legitimate reason Tsarukian was given the prize, then. That would be the reason that no one on this thread has been able to find and the one which, on the contrary, everyone agrees is non-existent.

But apparently you think there is one. So let's hear it.

While you stroll off into eternity trying to come up with that explanation, enjoy watching this story about the multi-billion dollar bribery case involving BRITISH Aerospace and the Saudis.

Looks like your Oxford-educated role models don't mind Arab falafels in in their pita breads.

Like I said, Europe is rife with bribery. And there is no Santa Claus. Sorry.

antifa said...

I am surprised that it was taken so seriously (15 comments).
The name itself is pretty dodgy. Anyway assuming that there is an unintentional mistake in the RFL/RL report then again this doesn't mean that the organisation acts on behalf of Europe or even its mother organisation. Anybody can go and set up an NGO with a trendy name, write a pompous biz plan, get some funds from in this case EU, print business cards with cool title and claim an expertise in something, take part in conferences here and there and then start awarding titles to others. To make it more glorious find a blond geezer to give the awards. Even better you don’t need to bother with the biz plan, I even know a person who writes such biz plans for soon to be NGOs so as soon as you purchase one of those biz plans it is now up to you to demonstrate your begging, sorry persuasion skills. Dodi Gago can be a door to knock to. Ostap Bender did this why cant anybody else?
Now days this has a tendency for becoming a profitable business. Good example is Serj Sargsyan's trading of April 24 for his 'El presidente' title. One day the bandits may even reach to knighthood, many bankers already did.

Antifa said...

Not to be unfair to NGOs will add that there are some NGOs( minority) which really do some useful, down to earth work.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

Antifa, I agree with most of what you said, except you should note that the European Movement International, the organization that gave Tsarukyan the award, isn't just any NGO.

It's actually not even an NGO, but a lobby group: It was established after WWII with the help of people like Winston Churchill and Francois Mitterand, and its current president is the former President of the European Parliament. Many of the other members are politicians with positions in the EU government.

The EMI isn't just some random NGO, then. It is a serious organization with a long history. And, having just given a mafia Don an award, it is obviously CORRUPT.

Antifa said...

And John Prescott is a so called human right champion so what? this doesn't mean he wouldn't accept a villa or a huge diamond stone for a favorable report from the 'El President'. Old Europe has history in exploiting the less developed. Prove that you are not one and they will treat you differently. To be different you should be better i.e better educated, have better democracy, have better organization.
This doesn't mean that Europe is a bad place for people inside the union. It is the only union where small nations are not taken advantage of.

Anonymous said...

and levon ter pet is "championing democracy"

and so on and so on...

so what is the big surpise?

armen said...

Antifa, listen, anti-fascist, the Europeans will never be the cure for the violence that they've unleashed.

Never, ever.

Remember: The Armenian Holocaust was their doing. The model was American Indians.

How many times do Armenians need to be duped by the "West" before they learn that their own muscles are their only friends, and that the Europeans will use them as toilet paper to save a few a pennies, and that Europeans don't give a god-damn about Armenia? How many times?

What's the matter with you? Wake the fuck up!!!