“Hraparak” comments on the launch of criminal proceedings against police officers who used Cheremukha-7 teargas against protesters in last year’s post-election clashes.
“If the authorities indeed have made a political decision to punish the real culprits of the March 1, 2008 violence, these criminal cases instituted at the Special Investigation Service may have a sensational progress. This may mean that with the rapidly developing process in the Karabakh conflict settlement, the regime of Serzh Sarkisian badly needs as many revelations as possible.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes on the same subject: “The thing is that the general amnesty approved by the National Assembly on June 19 is applicable to the two [Criminal Code] articles [on which charges in related cases might be brought]. That is, the Armenian authorities will present this step to Europe as an effort to punish the policemen responsible for the March 1 events, but in reality no one will be punished.”
Under the headline “Turkey Getting Ready for a Soccer Match Versus Armenia”, “Azg” reports that a large movement has started in the town of Kayseri, the chosen venue for the World Cup 2010 qualifier between the national soccer teams of Turkey and Armenia on October 14.
“It is difficult to say whether the second-leg soccer game between Turkey and Armenia will actually be held in Kayseri, the birthplace of Turkish President Abdullah Gul, and what will be Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian’s reply to the invitation to attend the game. But it is beyond doubt that Turkey is seeing serious preparations for the game, the main motivation being Sarkisian’s possible attendance.”
“Aravot” carries an interview with former Yerevan mayor Vahagn Khachatrian. The economist launches a blistering attack on the Armenian government for “mishandling the crisis” as he claims all measures taken by it so far have been necessitated by the situation rather than fitted into a cohesive plan of action to grapple with the deepening effects of the global recession on Armenia.
“Real anti-crisis steps would have been possible if the government had admitted still last December that our economy was in crisis and developed a corresponding plan of action,” says Khachatrian, accusing the government of approving a state budget for 2009 with a projected economic growth of 9.2 percent and squandering up to $800 million for maintaining the national currency’s exchange rate for the benefit of lucrative importing businesses before letting it free-float in March.
“Today the authorities are solving their day-to-day problems, because they know they won’t stay for long,” charged Khachatrian.
“Kapital” cites the preliminary data of the State Revenues Committee on the exports and imports in Armenia in the first six months of 2009. In particular, it notes that the imports of vehicles has decreased more than twofold – from 18,100 in the first half of last year to 8,000 during the same period in 2009.
“But the customs value of the imported cars has not undergone an essential change – $11,300 this year against $11,500 in 2008. This means that the well-to-do people have not lost their interest in expensive cars and that the decline in the demand has happened mainly at the expense of the middle class.”