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Press Review


Lragir.am sees a great deal of symbolism in the fact that the latest police dispersal of daily opposition gatherings on Yerevan’s Northern Avenue coincided with the first anniversary of President Serzh Sarkisian’s inauguration.

“Yerkir” analyzes statements made by U.S. President Barack Obama during his official visit to Turkey. “For him, the Armenian genocide is a political, not a historical, issue,” says the paper. “The U.S. Congress may also display a clear-cut position on this issue. Secondly, the USA reaffirms the significance of the South Caucasus for its national interests and considers its participation in the process of the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations a high priority. Turkey will have to understand that Armenia is an independent country of the South Caucasus with which it has to reckon with. Thirdly, the USA doesn’t link the Karabakh problem with the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.”

In an interview with “Zhamanak,” Pargev Ohanian, a former judge now affiliated with the Armenian opposition, dismisses recent amendments to Armenia’s Criminal Code supported by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). Ohanian believes that the amendments do not mean that the Armenian authorities have finally complied with the PACE resolutions on Armenia. In fact, he says, they are trying to deceive the PACE and the domestic public. “Do they think that the PACE is made up of idiots?” asks Ohanian. The ex-judge also thinks that political tolerance must not mean tolerance of “injustice.”

Lragir.am sees a great deal of symbolism in the fact that the latest police dispersal of daily opposition gatherings on Yerevan’s Northern Avenue coincided with the first anniversary of President Serzh Sarkisian’s inauguration. It says the police actions showed “whom Serzh Sarkisian’s presidency has enabled to be in control of things in this country.” “Probably Serzh Sarkisian and the police did not make sense of each other,” speculates the online publication. “And when the authority starts to make sense of nothing, it immediately resorts to repressions. At least for intimidating [its opponents.]”

Artsvik Minasian, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s candidate for Yerevan mayor, expresses hope in an interview with “Iravunk” that parties campaigning for the May 31 municipal elections will not attack each other and will come up with “constructive” programs instead. “We must by all means try to find similarities among each other,” says Minasian. “And if the opposition proposes a good program which I believe could benefit Yerevan, then I will be ready to cooperate within the framework of that program.”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is scathing about the Armenian authorities’ decision to offer 20 billion drams in loan guarantees to construction firms and set up a new mortgage fund that should make it easier for Armenians to buy new homes. The opposition paper says that the state support will primarily benefit companies owned by senior government officials and their cronies, rather than the Armenian economy as a whole.
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