“The people don’t want to hear the same statements for the umpteenth time,” editorializes “Aravot.” “They just don’t want to listen to anyone. The people want to live well.” The paper says grimly that at the current rate of economic development Armenia will need a century to reach Western living standards. “But the countries which we want to match will also develop and the abyss separating us from developed countries will be even greater a hundred years later … The three South Caucasus states can only together represent any interest for big international capital. Nobody is crazy to invest in a small, poor and unruly country.”
“Aravot” also says all the signs are that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian “will be declared president in 2008.” “In 2008, the opposition will again hold a couple of rallies, the Council of Europe; the OSCE and the U.S. State Department will announce that the elections do not meet international standards; CIS observers will say they are absolutely fair; and the Constitutional Court will uphold their outcome.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s 27-year-old son Taron could face a serious hurdle in his bid to become prefect of Yerevan’s Avan administrative district. Also in contention is the local leader of the Yerkrapah Union, Petros Amirian. “He is a brother-in-law of Yerkrapah chairman Manvel Grigorian. And he too is saying, ‘The people want me to stand … I will go to the end’.” But the paper says the Republicans are used to “going to the end.” “So it is already clear that if the Republicans and Yerkrapah fail to reach agreement in the coming week, that disagreement could have a continuation in the expected electoral and political processes.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” finds President Robert Kocharian’s response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s letter “dignified and forward-looking.” The paper says Erdogan’s calls for a genocide study by Turkish and Armenian historians is a “clear deception” because “the party accused of a crime can not become its own judge.” “By rejecting the Turkish side’s attempts to create the illusion of a false dialogue, Armenia is proposing a real dialogue.”
“Azg” says Kocharian’s response shows that “Yerevan does not intend to leave the issue of the Armenian genocide to historians.” It says Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian noted earlier that the historians have already done their job and all Turkey can do is to accept its past and recognize the Armenian genocide.