Thursday, February 11

As a result of successful state policy...

February 2nd, 2010, Euronews interviews President of Azerbaijani Republic Ilham Aliyev on the status of Nagorno Karabakh and general situation in the country. According to the President, things are getting better in this country every day. “People of Azerbaijan are living better and better”. He talks about numbers- in times of financial crisis, country’s economy grew by 9.3%; industry by 8.6%; inflation stood at 1.5%; and hard currency reserves amounted to USD 20.4 billion. He says the fact that opposition parties are weak is not his fault- it’s the people’s choice. He says he is not a king but a Prime Minister who can be elected as many times as people to choose to elect him. He says he is not a dictator…

Simple response to President’s statement that people have better lives now:

  • According to a survey conducted by the Economic Research Center(for more details about the organization visit, spending on education in Azerbaijan amounts to 3.1% of GDP, while its 5% in the EU;
  • Quality of secondary education is poor- 23% of students failed their high- school graduation exams; over 60% could not pass general university admission test;
  • According to the same survey, 55% of respondents do not buy medicine because they cannot afford it;
  • Only 2.9% of GDP is spent on social protection, while in OECD countries spending on social protection amounts to 8%

(The survey- Alternative Household Budget- was supported by USAID’s Civil Society Project and Counterpart International)

But our country’s GDP saw 9.3% growth in a year when the world was dealing with financial crisis.

February 5th, the country receives heavy snow- airports are shut down, roads are not cleaned, houses are left with no electricity and water, our President is in Germany. Power cuts continue all around the city.

But our newly renovated (cleaned) buildings in the city center are brightly lid up all throughout the night and there is always electricity at our new parks?!

February 6th, chief of Baku Metropolitan system, Taghi Ahmedov answers journalists’ questions regarding power cuts and metro being down that day.

His ethical behavior as a chief is no doubt at its best, especially when he yells all the time while giving answers and at the very end when he says “I don’t owe you anything! One buzzing from here, another buzzing from there!”

But you just raised the price of the metro ride from 5 to 15 cents?!

According to Zerkalo (Mirror) newspaper, no precautions been taken to prevent recent power crisis in the country. Bizim Yol (Our way) writes that despite 2 billion AZN (approx. 2 billion EUR) allotted to AzerEnergy the country wasn’t ready for the heavy weather conditions and so the company failed to save the country from the energy crisis.

But we have 20.4 billion USD in reserves as hard currency?!

February 11th, its OL (to be) youth movement’s birthday. One of the creators of the movement- Adnan Hajizada- is in prison for his beliefs and ideas. (about OL) (famous Donkey video)

Several days prior, amidst all the chaos in the country, OL releases a new, short movie, titled “Democracy is Possible”:

February 12th, Azerbaijan Parliament will discuss proposed amendments to existing media law. The contested "media cannot take photos and videos of people without their consent, except for retrieval operations."

Media Rights Institute issued a statement (in Azeri) condemning the content of the proposed amendments as well as the adoption procedure. According to the center “parliament has not placed information about the amendments on its website in time, which is a violation of the law on data access”. The center further argues that the amendments cannot be adopted without public discussion and in a non- transparent environment. The amendments to Articles 47 (on freedom of thought and word), 50 (on freedom of information) of the Azerbaijan Constitution and 10 (on freedom of expression of opinion) of the European Convention of Human Rights constitutes inappropriate interference into freedom of expression.

But aren’t we member of the Council of Europe?

At the end of the day however, none of these really matters, because it is all happening as a result of successful policies carried out by the government, all in the name of people, all to make lives of Azerbaijan people better, all to show the world that we ARE truly a DEMOCRACY and that the rest of the world should learn from US- the country of no analogies!

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