“Aravot” says that Armenian citizens find it increasingly difficult to receive entry visas to European Union countries. Among them were members of the national women’s under-16 basketball team that were due to take part in a tournament held in Italy this summer. The paper says the embassy earned notoriety last year for forcing a group of Armenian singers and folk dancers seeking an Italian visa to sing and dance in order to make sure they are not cheating. “By the same token, they could have built a small basketball field inside the embassy so that our basketball players could demonstrate their class,” it says sarcastically.
“[Western] embassies can stop cooperating with those sport federations, non-governmental organizations or travel agencies that recommend [visa-seeking] citizens who do not behave well abroad,” continues “Aravot.” “But to view all citizens of Armenia as potential fraudsters is wrong.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” asks pro-government pollster Gevorg Poghosian to comment on the chances of the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) and other political allies of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian in next year’s presidential elections. “As a party, the HHSh today plays no role in political life,” says Poghosian. “It’s not visible even in the opposition camp. Moreover, Levon Ter-Petrosian himself is not perceived by the public as the HHSh leader, even if many HHSh figures very much want him to act as the HHSh leader, the pivotal [presidential] candidate, a real alternative to the current authorities.
“The fact that Levon Ter-Petrosian attends their congresses does not mean that he is the leader of the HHSh. He is much more pragmatic than HHSh figures like Aram Manukian, Ararat Zurabian who speak on behalf of the HHSh,” adds Poghosian.