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Press Review


“Aravot” finds ironic President Robert Kocharian’s meeting this week with senior government officials that focused on the fulfillment of Armenia’s obligations to the Council of Europe. The paper says an ensued statement by the presidential office made no mention of the “anti-European” attack against journalists. “International donor organizations today have all the grounds to suspect that the authorities are using [Western] loans designed for ‘structural reforms’ to make wholesale purchases of eggs to feed their rally-destroying butchers and throw them at demonstrators.”

“Journalism is considered one of the most dangerous professions. Unfortunately, this applies to Armenia as well,” writes “Azg.” The paper says both the authorities and the opposition are capable of instigating violence against reporters.

“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” accuses opposition politicians of tarnishing their country’s image and seeking to seize power with the help of unspecified “external forces.” The government-funded paper says that “if someone in London disrespects state symbols or provoke riots on the streets under the guise of rallies they can not escape the powerful blow of the law.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s assessment of the political situation in Armenia, expressed on Wednesday, was “markedly different” from what other Armenian leaders have said in the past few weeks. “Of course views are now expressed to the effect that Artur Baghdasarian simply wants to distance himself from the current authorities to ensure his further political career. But any politician must naturally think about their future. In this case it is very good that the chairman of the National Assembly does not tie his future to the redneck goons terrorizing journalists on the street.”

In a separate report, “Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that President Robert Kocharian was angered by the Dashnaktsutyun party’s call for a compromise deal with the opposition that would give the latter, among other things, representation in the presidential Security Council.

“Disaffection and social polarization have indeed created serious prerequisites for a political confrontation,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “But such a confrontation is fraught not with regime change, but the dangerous consequences of clashes, riots, mutual animosity and national split.”

“Golos Armenii” says if opposition supporters really believe that regime change is necessary for Armenia they must heed the opposition calls to take to the streets of Yerevan on Friday. “But we urge them to think once again whether everything has been calculated and whether there will be no bitter disappointment.” The paper also calls on the government to show restraint and tolerance of dissent.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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