“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that during Tuesday’s parliament debates on the Armenian government’s program waiters could be seen delivering drinks and snacks to the offices of parliament deputies, most of them affiliated with the Republican Party. “Those waiters are not members of the National Assembly staff. They are workers of a Yerevan restaurant that provide services to National Assembly deputies on a contractual basis,” says the paper, adding that it will not be surprised if lawmakers order food to the parliament floor. “After that, opening a sauna in the National Assembly will become a vital necessity,” it concludes sarcastically.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that speaker Tigran Torosian has reluctantly agreed not to head the new Armenian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The paper says the delegation will be headed by former Justice Minister David Harutiunian, the newly elected chairman of the parliament committee on legal affairs.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” accuses Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian of committing “yet another illegality.” “After successfully testing the mechanism of vote rigging, Serzh has now decided to drastically increase tax revenues,” says the paper. “Accordingly, Sarkisian has made all tax chiefs pledge in writing that if they fail to ensure a 40 percent rise in tax collection by the end of this year, they will be dismissed. The latter, for their part, have collected relevant signatures from tax inspectors. And in order to meet the set target during that period, tax inspectors are visiting various businesses and illegally demanding advance payments from them.” The paper also claims that “this mechanism does not extend to big taxpayers catering for Serzh Sarkisian.”
In a separate report, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says Sarkisian’s brother Levon was involved in a brawl with a reputed crime figure at a restaurant outside Yerevan. “Levon Sarkisian phoned his brother Serzh, who immediately dispatched special police to the scene,” reports the paper. It says the police made several arrests.
“Hayk” reports that former Trade and Economic Development Minister Karen Chshmaritian will soon resign as a member of parliament to be appointed as Armenia’s ambassador to an unnamed European country.