Pro-Armenian lobbyists enjoy la dolce vita while Armenia is looking for new "backers"
    Paris mayor Hidalgo's 60k euro trip comes under fire

    ANALYTICS  29 November 2023 - 15:20

    Samir Veliyev
    Caliber.Az

    Recently, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has been very active on several fronts. First, in her efforts to reduce harmful emissions in the French capital, she announced a planned survey of the city's residents to determine whether to increase parking fees for "sport-utility vehicles" (SUVs). While this plan is expected to be supported by city residents, it may cause frustration among suburban commuters who drive SUVs to work in the metropolis on a daily basis.

    On November 27, Hidalgo said she was quitting Elon Musk's social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, which she described as a tool to disrupt democracy.

    "This platform and its owner act deliberately to exacerbate tensions and conflicts," Hildago said in a statement posted on X, adding it had become a "vast worldwide sewer."

    The reasons for Hidalgo's outburst against the X network are not clear. It may be related to tensions between French officials and Elon Musk's corporation. However, her criticism of X looks like an overreaction and may be a distraction from a corruption scandal she is involved in. 

    Hidalgo went on a two-week business trip to New Caledonia and French Polynesia. The entire period of Hidalgo's stay on the islands and in the waters of the Pacific Ocean was paid for from the state budget, while the business part of the visit amounted to only one week. Hidalgo and her husband used the second week of their voyage to visit their daughter, who lives on a nearby island. To conceal her actions, Hidalgo posted videos on social media that showed her allegedly riding a bicycle on the streets of Paris. However, her deception was uncovered by the press, who revealed that she did not attend most of the official events scheduled during her trip. Legal action is now being taken, and it has been reported that the total cost of the trip was approximately 60,000 euros.

    It's interesting to note that many individuals who advocate for Armenian interests have become embroiled in corruption scandals. For instance, Baroness Caroline Cox, the godmother of the "miatsum," neglected to report the "donations" she received from various religious organizations that she served. Similarly, Eva Kaili, a well-known Armenian lobbyist and member of the European Parliament, was implicated in the major "Qatargate" scandal, during which bags of money were found in her possession. Additionally, former US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, who is set to face trial in May 2024 on as many as four criminal counts, and his wife, Nadine Arslanian, also involved in nearly all of these cases.

    It is worth mentioning separately that the money spent on lobbyists by the Armenian diaspora also, to put it mildly, does not come from a completely transparent source and will inevitably become the subject of investigation. In particular, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD), the largest Armenian lobbying organisation in Europe, is sponsored by a private company that profited from the smuggling of multi-coloured diamonds from conflict regions of Africa to Belgium.

    It is curious that people defending Armenia are very fond of using such words as "justice", "human rights", and "democracy". One wonders how all this fits with the fact that they are corrupt officials. Is it hypocrisy or schizophrenia? More like both combined. This, by the way, is strikingly similar to the Armenian idea itself. It is not excluded that in promoting the Armenian cause, the bread-and-butter interest of all the above and dozens of other lobbyists is added to their worldview based on Turkophobia and Islamophobia.

    The defeat of the Armenian army in 2020 and the full restoration of Azerbaijan's sovereignty over the Karabakh region in 2023 have turned the world of the global Armenian community upside down. Now they are in a state of time pressure and frantic thinking about where to invest their money. Our advice to them would be that instead of spending huge funds on bribes to charlatans, it would be better to invest in Armenia's integration into regional processes.

    Returning to the formal heroine of our piece Ann Hidalgo, I would like to note that the level of aggression in social networks is really high, but social networks are not to blame. They are just a mirror of our world. A world in which the likes of Hidalgo and Menendez, Kaili and Cox enjoy their dolce vita. Therefore, it would be worth reminding the French mayor of the proverb: the looking glass is not to blame if your own face is plain.

    Caliber.Az

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