“Hayots Ashkhar” welcomes the latest European Parliament vote on the Armenian genocide. But the paper believes that the move was not motivated by European legislators’ “love and respect” of Armenians but rather by their desire to keep Turkey off the European Union. Still, it says, the resolution gives Armenians a better chance of not only achieving international recognition of the genocide but also winning a material compensation from Turkey.
“Aravot” quotes former defense minister Vagharshak Harutiunian as saying that the so-called Paris principles for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict uphold Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and give Baku an overland link with its Nakhichevan exclave through the Meghri district. “We are put in a situation which will lead to either the loss of Karabakh or the handover of Meghri to Azerbaijan,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that opposition leader Artashes Geghamian has postponed the publication of his “anti-crisis” economic program to avoid a “trap” prepared by President Kocharian. Geghamian claims that after the program is made public Kocharian would offer him to become prime minister and implement it. “But real authority would remain in the hands of the president who would not only fail to support the prime minister but would also obstruct the implementation of his programs,” Geghamian says. He says the will unveil his program only in the run-up to the next elections to foil the plot allegedly hatched by Kocharian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on the latest banking scandal in Armenia. A branch manager of one of the largest banks, Ardshinbank, has reportedly fled the country with several million dollars in cash. Senior bankers are predicting that more trouble lies ahead. The paper notes that those banks that are experiencing serious financial difficulties lately are not owned by individuals close to the authorities.
But according to Energy Minister Armen Movsisian, Ardshinbank remains one of the most reliable Armenian banks. Movsisian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that local energy companies will continue to work with the bank -- their main “financial operator and reliable partner.”
“Golos Armenii” is disappointed that top government officials are “stubbornly silent about where their huge fortunes come from.” So are the state prosecutors that have failed to investigate periodical corruption allegations.
Meanwhile, several leading newspapers carry front-page placards denouncing the controversial government bill on mass media. Even the government-controlled “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” prints the negative advertisement. The paper at the same time urges journalists to wait until the results of the bill’s examination by European experts. The experts are scheduled to meet with newspaper editors on March 4.