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Press Review


“The question of what Armenia wants from the [Karabakh] negotiations has no answer,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Not only is Armenia unprepared for mutual compromises, but also for peace and war.” The key challenge for the country’s political elite is to prepare the public for a compromise settlement, according to the pro-opposition daily. They should, in particular, clear the political landscape of “bogus parties” advocating populist solutions to the nation’s pressing problems.

“Aravot” says the authorities are not always wrong. For example, it says, Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian is right to say that some of the occupied Azerbaijani territories will have to be returned under a future peace accord. But the paper, whose editor is sympathetic to Armenia’s former authorities, claims that Robert Kocharian will get much less concessions from Azerbaijan than his predecessor Levon Ter-Petrosian was offered in 1997.

“Aravot” also deplores the current status of Armenian law-enforcement agencies, saying that the professional level of their personnel has declined considerably since the Soviet times. Any well-connected person, regardless of their educational background, can now join police or the national security service. An unidentified former interior ministry official tells the paper that “these guys could achieve in five minutes what we achieved in 25 years.” The paper adds to this a photograph of the expensive villa of Deputy Interior Minister Hovannes Hunanian, implicitly accusing him of corruption.

“Hayots Ashkhar” says an effective fight against corruption requires a political will “to establish law and order,” an adequate legislation and the professionalism of law-enforcement officials. “We have none of the listed factors,” the paper says. “Therefore, nice talks will remain a substitute for a fight against corruption in the foreseeable future.”

“Azg” reports that the government is working on a draft law that would allow it to adopt and implement specific programs without the parliament’s approval. “The government is conscious that the implementation of those programs and policies is not feasible in the near future,” it writes.

“Hayots Ashkhar” is concerned that the ongoing slow depreciation of the Armenian dram could increase inflationary pressure on the consumer good prices. The paper accuses the Central Bank of failure to come up with a “cohesive fiscal-monetary policy.”

(Vache Sarkisian)
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