“Iravunk” links the Armenian government’s surprise U-turn on the issue of Soviet-era savings deposits to the upcoming constitutional referendum. The paper says “successful propaganda” alone can not secure a “yes” vote at the November 27 referendum. “Unless the authorities take unprecedented steps which please the population,” it explains. “And the decision applying to the savings deposit is one of such steps.” The paper says “it is not hard to predict that there will be more such steps before November 27.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also sees political motives behind the development. “In this process all political forces have their interests. The only thing which does not interest them is the interests of the deposit holders.” The paper says Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir Party wants to claim credit for deposit compensation and hopes that the people will blame the government for its “disgraceful” amount. It says Prime Minister Andranik Markarian is aware of this pitfall and is stressing that his government will be compensating some citizens only as part of its poverty reduction program.
“When the Europeans are trying to persuade Armenians that [President Kocharian’s] constitutional changes are good and that we should say yes to them, one is simply amazed,” writes “Ayb-Fe.” “Either those people were given a totally different variant of reforms, or the Europeans consider us idiots. All the foreigners urging and threatening our people must understand one thing: a person who has lived in civilized European can not imagine what some Armenians can hide behind simple words. They can’t understand our mentality, they can’t realize that when our rulers write a law they immediately start thinking about how they can get around it.”
Goran Lenmarker, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s rapporteur on Nagorno-Karabakh, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that there is now a “golden opportunity” to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. “The cost of the conflict is too high for both Armenia and Azerbaijan,” says the Swedish lawmaker. Lenmarker also makes the point that Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s democratization is very important for lasting peace. “But one should not speculate now about the way the two presidents were elected,” he adds. “Forget about it. You should now concentrate on resolving the conflict.”
Citing anonymous military sources, “Iravunk” says “there is an opinion in Armenia’s Defense Ministry” that the renewed tensions in Georgia’s Javakheti region can flare up into bloodshed “at any moment.”