(Saturday, March 12)
“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that what the Armenian state lacks the most is ideas and programs. The paper notes that serious debate on the pressing issues facing the country takes place among Armenians journalists and “sometimes between journalists and politicians.” “Politicians rarely debate those issues amongst themselves,” it adds. “The thoughts of the vast majority of our statesmen and politicians are occupied with much more material topics. And that is the reason why demagogic calls and promises, vote bribes and power levers dominate the political stage today.”
In a deeply sarcastic front-page editorial, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says Armenians need not worry about the possible privatization of their railway. It was privatized by Transport Minister Andranik Manukian and railway chief Ararat Khrimian long ago. “They behave the way others do,” the paper says, adding that every single government agency in Armenia is effectively “privatized” by its bosses. The Armenian police, it says, is the private property of its commander Hayk Harutiunian and his deputies. “Or isn’t the army the property of Serzh Sarkisian just as the government belongs to Andranik Markarian and the courts to David Harutiunian?”
“So spreading and refuting such information is a meaningless exercise. Everything has been clear right from the beginning,” concludes “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
“Are you a rich man?” “Azg” asks the chairman of Armenia’s Central Bank, Tigran Sarkisian, in an interview. “I can say that I am financially well-off person and I wish you the same,” Sarkisian replies. He says the Central Bank is the most established and advanced state institution in Armenia. He says most of the criticism addressed to the bank is politicized and unserious.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Nagorno-Karabakh’s defense minister, General Seyran Ohanian, says breaches of the ceasefire along the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontline have been “periodical” of late. Ohanian lays the blame on the Azerbaijani military. “I would say that the steps taken by the Azerbaijani side are fruitless attempts to achieve something. They can lead to nothing except unjustified losses,” he says. “If the Azerbaijani side provokes such incidents to test the combat-readiness of our armed forces, then I think that recent incidents in the border area [northeast of Karabakh] … make it possible to draw appropriate conclusions.”