Reviewing the past year in an editorial, “Yerkir” writes that Armenia is on the mend even though the magnitude of its enormous socioeconomic remains high. Foreigners visiting Armenia these days do not fail to see positive change. “Unfortunately, examples [of that] are not that many,” the paper says. “But the existing ones show that determination and political will would solve any problem in the country. It is in very great demand at the moment.”
“We have managed to fulfill our promises in the social sphere,” Prime Minister Andranik Markarian tells “Aravot.” “We have managed to improve economic indicators, but more time is needed for the population to feel the result of what happened.” Markarian also sees progress in Armenia’s democratization because “everyone does whatever they wish and talk about.”
“Iravunk” has a diametrically opposite take on the dramatic political developments of 2003. “The country’s political elite disgraced itself before the international community and its own people this time as well,” the paper says. “It once again proved that it can maintain its power not with civilized electoral techniques but with mainly illegal methods.” Nor did the authorities bring noticeable improvement to the lives of the downtrodden people. The paper believes that the opposition also let Armenians down by failing to do something similar to what happened in Georgia last month.
“2004 will start with fairly great uncertainties that are related to the Karabakh issue,” continues “Iravunk.” “That too is a very serious test, and failure to pass that test will entail very serious consequences.”
“Aravot” carries an open letter from what it describes as the U.S. branch of the opposition Artarutyun bloc that calls for a fresh opposition campaign of demonstrations against President Robert Kocharian’s regime along the lines of Georgia’s “rose revolution.” “Feel free to use the Georgian’s experience and tactics,” the letter urges Artarutyun leaders “on behalf of all Armenian Americans.” “Those who raise any issue other than the ouster of Kocharian and his criminal gang are either with him or immature.” Commenting on the letter, the paper says that those who really care about their homeland must live there in the first place.