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Press Review


(Saturday, June 9)

“Zhamanak Yerevan” writes that the amiable approach to the Armenian elections and general tolerance towards the Kocharian regime are only due to expectations of a Karabakh conflict settlement. “But if the international community feels that the whole protracted negotiating process is aimed only at fooling them and that there is no genuine willingness to reach an agreement, this tolerance will quickly disappear and the regime will sing its swan song,” the paper warns.

“Hayk” describes the situation of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) after the elections, arguing that “it has finally become [Prime Minister] Serzh Sarkisian’s personal property.” “Old Republican Party members have been pushed to the background… But the most interesting is whom they picked for the head of the HHK parliamentary faction – the Tashir department store owner Karen Karapetian, who is doing his business under Serzh Sarkisian’s patronage, and as long as Serzh Sarkisian has ambitions to become president, Karapetian will consider himself to be one of Serzh’s closest and most loyal deputies in parliament.”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” gets the impression that President Robert Kocharian wants his colleague Serzh Sarkisian to experience as many difficulties as possible before he succeeds him as president. “That Kocharian has this attitude towards Sarkisian is a fact, but it is yet unclear how this attitude will be displayed in the coming months.” The paper predicts that Sarkisian’s attempt at presidency will be hampered not only by the opposition, but also by Kocharian himself, as well as the pro-establishment Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun parties that “couldn’t digest Serzh and his HHK during last month’s elections.”

“168 Zham” fears that more “disagreeable” TV stations may lose their broadcasting licenses as the government will press with its plans for TV digitalization. “Only four television stations are expected to get state funding for digitalizing their systems in the near future. For the rest, digitalization will be a compulsory measure, but they won’t get any state funding for the purpose. Their inability to effect the change will result in their losing their licenses.”

“Azg” highlights the recent rise in food prices, in particular for such products as flour and pasta. It says the prices began to grow immediately after the elections and “plain yogurt in a half-liter plastic bottle that could be bought for 180 drams (about $0.5) before the elections was 220 drams after.” In this connection, the daily queries: “If it is difficult even for people with jobs to adjust themselves to these growing prices, how can people surviving on meager pensions allow themselves to get food from this table of ‘unprecedented economic growth’?”

(Armen Dulian)
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