“Azg” says that the Armenian government’s recent decision to raise pensions by 1,000 drams ($2.2) is an example of its exceptional “cynicism.” The paper explains that the increase made low-income Armenian pensions no longer eligible for separate poverty benefits that are worth 7,000 drams per month. “It is evident that authorities which have thrown thousands of pensioners into such an inhuman situation and caused them nervous upheavals must no longer have a moral right to talk about reducing poverty in Armenia … and say other grandiose and empty things,” it says.
Presidential press secretary Victor Soghomonian tells “Ayb-Fe” that President Robert Kocharian found “normal” the Constitutional Court ruling on the controversial house demolitions in Yerevan. Soghomonian skirts a question on whether Kocharian agrees with the decision.
According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” evicted residents do have cause for celebration. The paper says their case will be “taken seriously” by the European Court of Human Rights. It is confident that the court will prove “the guilt of the current leadership of Armenia.”
“Aravot” says that one of the construction firms that drove them out of their properties operates under the tutelage of Grigor Harutiunian, deputy head of Armenia’s National Security Service.
“My concern is not so much related to the Azerbaijan-USA relations as to the fact of the USA-Iran confrontation,” Hrant Markarian, a top leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Military action against Iran could indirectly cause us a lot of damage.” Markarian refers to both the United States and Iran as “friendly countries that have stood by our side since the declaration of [Armenia’s] independence.” He says an armed conflict between them would therefore pose a “serious threat to Armenia’s national security.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” asks Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian to say whether he is confident that the next Armenian elections will be free and fair. “I can’t give such promises,” replies Oskanian. “I can only hope, believe, urge that the elections meet democratic standards.”
“We must clearly understand that the struggle against the regime of Robert Kocharian is a struggle for our independence,” a senior member of the radical opposition Hanrapetutyun party, Suren Sureniants, tells “Iravunk.”