“Aravot” says that those who call for a revolution in Armenia and mock constitutional methods of political struggle play into the authorities’ hands. The paper argues that such calls give the ruling regime a pretext to “brutally suppress” any dissent. “Aram Karapetian hardly fails to realize this. If he does realize, then he plays a certain role. The fact that Karapetian has found himself at the center of government propaganda only confirms suggestions that they are working in concert with Karapetian.” The oppositionist “poses no threat Robert Kocharian’s regime.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the three parties making up Armenia’s governing coalition have reacted defiantly to Kocharian’s criticism of their decision to sign an opposition-inspired statement condemning the disruption of Karapetian’s rally in Sevan. The paper says it is the first time they openly challenge Kocharian. “Furthermore, they reaffirm their position and their signatures in the statement.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the Armenian authorities faced a hail of criticism from journalists and media associations on Tuesday which was marked as World Press Freedom Day. The paper believes that complaints about violations of press freedom and a lack of independent broadcasters in Armenia are exaggerated. “Watch any news bulletin attentively and you will see that our TV channels present a full and clear picture of our reality to TV viewers,” it says. It argues in particular that parliamentary debates featuring harsh attacks on the government are regularly broadcast by state television.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” finds official macroeconomic figures for the first quarter of this year, which were released by the National Statistical Service, too rosy. “According to that statistics, our economy again grew. True, not at a double-digit rate. But we still have 7.8 percent. [The growth rate] would have definitely been 10-15 percent had Kocharian again said at the beginning of this year that our first-quarter economic growth must be in double digits. But everything still lies ahead. An announcement of double-digit growth will eventually be made.” The paper claims that the real economic situation in the country is less encouraging not least because of the dram’s drastic appreciation.
“Azg” suggests that the anticipated meeting between Kocharian and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could be a significant step towards an improvement of relations between Armenia and Turkey. But the paper fears that Ankara could exploit the meeting to “remove the Armenian genocide issue from the international community’s agenda.” “That would not only cast shadow over the favorable atmosphere in Turkish-Armenian relations but also restrain international forces making efforts at their improvement,” it says.