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Hundreds Of Armenian Vendors Protest New Tax Law

YEREVAN -- Hundreds of private vendors in Armenia have rallied in front of government headquarters in Yerevan against a new taxation law.

The protesters on January 26 demanded a meeting with Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian to explain their concerns.

The vendors say the new taxation law due to come into force on February 1 would cause price hikes and thereby decrease their profits.

The protesters object to a provision in the law that requires all small- and medium-sized business owners with profits of up to 58 million drams ($122,000) per year to fill out forms showing the amount of goods they have sold.

Under the law, refusing to fill out the forms is punishable with a large fine.

The protesters rejected a proposal by Abrahamian's spokesman for 10 demonstrators to come for talks with the prime minister, instead demanding that he appear in front of the crowd.