“Our people will pay a high price not only for gas and electricity that they consume, but also for bread, eggs, dairy products, canned food and construction materials, even for carrot and potato, because farmers will bring their produce to the markets already using means of transportation working on a more expensive gas and charging more for their services,” 168 Zham predicts. “And our statesmen and economists set the inflation in 2006 for only 3 percent. Meanwhile, experts estimate that by the end of the year price increases will reach 22-25 percent.”
In Iravunk’s estimation, in today’s situation there is still a possibility to make steps to lower the gas tariff set for the population by at least 10 or 15 drams, as the state budget will receive additional profits from this increased tariff at the expense of VAT. “If our government decides to give up this revenue not foreseen by the budget, then the average tariff can be lowered,” the paper finds.
Haykakan Zhamanak does not exclude that another show will be offered to the public as owners of minibus routes will request the Yerevan municipality to raise fares, and [President] Robert Kocharian will visit the municipality to hold consultations with the city authorities with an angry look on his face. “And it will be later announced that the fare was not raised only after Kocharian’s interference,” the paper concludes.
“Azerbaijan will have much more losses in the event of a war than if it solved the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh by means of negotiations.” Under this headline, Hayastani Hanrapetutyun presents Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s interview with the Shant TV company in which he, in particular, said: “If the Azerbaijani side is not ready or does not want to take the risk to find a solution through a simple compromise variant, then it will never take the risk of settling the problem militarily.” The paper quotes Oskanian as saying that “they have much to receive by means of negotiations and will give up what they know well they have already lost.”
In a Hayots Ashkhar interview former commander of the Nagorno-Karabakh army Samvel Babayan offers his vision of the situation: “The problem is not in who is negotiating with the Azeri side – Armenia or Nagorno-Karabakh. There is no joint program, a common package of approaches within the framework of which the Armenian side should negotiate with Azerbaijan, regardless of whether the party to the negotiations is Armenia or Karabakh. As long as we lack this package, there always may emerge a situation in which Armenia, as a party to the negotiations, will get to somewhere with Azerbaijan, while Karabakh’s leadership will not agree with it or will not be ready to shoulder the responsibility.” Disagreeing with the statement by Nagorno-Karabakh’s president that Armenia must give way to Karabakh as a party to the negotiations, the former commander tells the newspaper: “Pushing Armenia out of the negotiating process would not be a correct approach.”
According to the information of 168 Zham, in consequence of the murder committed in Tsalka, the region has become ungovernable and that is the reason why Prime Minister Andranik Markarian had ordered first deputy to Armenia’s chief policeman Major-General Ararat Mahtesyan and deputy to the chief policeman Major-General Hovannes Hunanian to leave for the Tsalka area on Saturday evening.
Haykakan Zhamanak reports that the case against former Minister of Culture Hovik Hoveyan has been closed, citing Deputy Prosecutor of Yerevan’s Kentron and Nork-Marash communities Aghvan Gevorgian. To the question by the paper’s reporter: “Can we know on what grounds the case was closed?”, the deputy prosecutor answered: “On the grounds of the change of situation.” “What change of situation has happened from the point of view of criminal law?” the reporter asks in surprise. “The situation changed with his leaving his post and other things,” Gevorgian answers, adding: “It is our right to pardon a person. The law allows a prosecutor to close the case, and he did exactly that. And we don’t have to give an account to anyone why we did that.”