“Azg” says that the Armenian authorities should have gradually lowered the value of the dram instead of abruptly ending its hard currency interventions. “The Central Bank chased events, succumbing to the trend of panicky dollar inflation observed since the beginning of the last week,” writes the paper. “If things are not stabilized in one or two days, there could be a series of rises of key food and service prices and the lack of public awareness could further aggravate the situation.” It says some observers believe that opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s March 1 speech and grim forecasts made by the opposition press also contributed to the meltdown.
“What happened yesterday has two basic components: stupidity and crime,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Generally speaking, making the dollar’s exchange rate floating was definitely the right decision. But the form is also important.” The opposition paper say that the authorities’ failure to float the dram earlier will lead to “much more severe and irreversible” economic consequences.
Lragir.am contends that the Armenian government has no clear-cut anti-crisis program. It says that the decision to devalue the dram was taken abruptly and “without any serious calculation” of its consequences. “On the other hand, this behavior of the Armenian government is absolutely rational and honest,” says the online publication. “What should the government tell ordinary citizens? The government is well aware of the value of its words for the citizens. More precisely, it’s well aware that its words are worthless for the citizens.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that a reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border would save Armenia from an economic collapse. The paper at the same time criticizes the government for inviting Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan to visit Yerevan just one week before the annual commemoration of the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide. “The authorities can not fail to understand that for the USA such a visit will be another argument that an official recognition of the genocide is not a very good idea,” it says.
“As April 24 approaches it becomes increasingly evident that Turkey, which has begun a big geopolitical haggling with the USA and Russia, is trying to realize a complex and truly devilish program of scuttling the recognition of the Armenian genocide and at the same time returning Nagorno-Karabakh’s liberated territories to Azerbaijan,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Ankara has understood that in case of the failure to open its border with Armenia, U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide will be inevitable. With this in mind, Turkey has prepared a program of linking the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border with the return of Nagorno-Karabakh’s liberated territories, which it has presented to Russia through Azerbaijan.”