“Hayk” comments on the failure by the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) to discuss the political situation in Armenia during a meeting in Paris on Thursday. The opposition attributes that to President Serzh Sarkisian’s conciliatory policies on Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Suren Sureniants, a senior member of the opposition Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party, tells “Iravunk de facto” that Armenia and Turkey are currently engaged in a “little diplomatic war” over the ratification of the two protocols which they signed in October. “I am almost certain that both Armenia and Turkey will eventually ratify the protocols, including under pressure from international players,” he says, adding that the country that will do so first will have a “much more beneficial” international standing.
“Aravot” is not surprised by the latest split within the Social-Democratic Hnchakian Party, saying that such rifts have been a common occurrence since the 1990s. The paper says the two rival factions are wrong to demand that Armenian media take sides in the latest row.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Armenia’s three governing parties plan to enact legal amendments which it says are aimed at restricting press freedom in Armenia. The paper says they want to amend Armenia’s Civil Code in a way that would make it easier for the authorities to file libel suits against media critical of the government and thereby “effectively make them go bankrupt.”
Artak Davtian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the best way to manage Armenia’s soaring foreign debt is to achieve renewed economic growth. “Therefore, like it or not, we should next year take steps and measures to make the economy breathe and rise again,” says Davtian. He believes that this year’s economic decline would have probably been less severe if the authorities had identified the most vulnerable sectors of the economy and implemented “appropriate preventive programs.” Commenting on the recent decision by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and a group of other senior government officials to join the HHK, Davtian says that was not mean to strengthen the party.