(Saturday, December 22)
“Hayots Ashkhar” contends that the overwhelming majority of Armenians remain indifferent to politics and even local affairs and that “active” citizens are a small minority. “Those people are able to display fierce energy, while representing nobody except themselves,” the paper says. “Any small cohort of enthusiasts can easily declare that it is acting on behalf of a whole social stratum or class, while pursuing only its own interests. The more those activists are detached from the masses, the more aggressive they are.”
“Hayk” maintains that in the upcoming presidential election Armenians will essentially have to choose between their current and former rulers. The opposition paper makes no secret of its strong support for the latter, saying that they can secure Armenia’s prosperous future by making peace and having open borders with its neighbors and establishing rule of law in the country. “If you wish, you can generalize things and call all this a choice between the black and white,” it tells readers.
“One does not have to be a media monitoring expert to see how TV companies cover, say, opposition rallies,” editorializes “Aravot.” “A tart voiceover accompanies dumb video and somehow they call it a report. The reason for that kind of journalism is evident. The TV companies are under the full control of the presidential administration, and that is not a secret even to European structures. True, opposition newspapers attack Serzh Sarkisian with the same aggression. But it is not possible to compare TV channels boasting hundreds of thousands of viewers with newspapers printing several thousand copies.”
“168 Zham” says that public trust in election-related opinion polls conducted in Armenia has a hit a new low. “In effect, the results of opinion polls increasingly resemble the list of the largest taxpayers published by the State Tax Service,” says the paper. “Analysts do not accept [that list] at face value and try instead to analyze it as a disguised reality.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says that the U.S. dollar’s rally against major world currencies observed in recent days has had no impact on its value against the Armenian dram. “Common sense suggests that the same process should have applied to the Armenian dram as well,” says the paper. “But instead of adding the dollar’s value against the dram, the Armenian authorities have moved in the opposite direction, depreciating the euro and all other [major] currencies. That is, the Central Bank is doing everything to make sure that not only those who have dollar-denominated incomes but also those who receive aid from abroad in other currencies feel cheated.”