In a year-end commentary, “Zhamanak” says 2009 has been an exceptionally bad year for Armenia’s economy. The paper says its drastic contraction has been at odds with government assurances in late 2008 that Armenia will not be seriously affected by the global economic crisis. It says the same government is now clinging to power and “not allowing the society to bring to power the force that it trusts more.”
“Kapital” calls 2009 “a year subordinated to Turkish-Armenian relations that has not engendered any result in Armenia’s internal life.” The paper says the next year will likewise be hostage to the Turkish-Armenian protocols and their ratification or non-ratification by the parliaments of the two countries.
Lragir.am says “tolerance” is increasingly replacing “dialogue” as the main buzzword in the vocabulary of government leaders in Armenia. “We wish they had at least said what should not be tolerated,” says the online paper. “After all, it is impossible to imagine a situation in which everyone tolerates each other. Tolerance has a limit which, if transcended, turns it into a public disaster. Calls for tolerance are nothing but calls for tolerating illegalities. The authority does not want to discuss the legality of its actions.”
“Hayk” claims that Armenia is now “in no way different from the Soviet Union.” “Almost every day, they catch a law-enforcer who takes a bribe or supplies drugs to prisoners, arrest or fine those who unduly raised the prices of certain goods or embezzled large sums from the state,” editorializes the paper. “In a word, it will certainly seem to naïve people that the authorities are relentlessly fighting against the criminal underworld. But when we familiarize ourselves with the real world, we understand that all this is a show.” The opposition paper says a growing number of Armenians are “disgusted” with this situation and seeking to emigrate from the country. “It is becoming increasingly evident that this nightmare can be eliminated only in one case: if the authorities express a desire to eliminate it,” it concludes.
“Golos Armenii” describes as “weird” parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian’s recent remark that Armenia will do its best to have Nagorno-Karabakh people’s right to self-determination recognized by the international community. The Russian-language paper argues that all peoples enjoy such a right under international law. “Furthermore, the people of Artsakh have already repeatedly exercised their right to self-determination,” it says, adding that Abrahamian himself acknowledged that at a meeting with Karabakh parliamentarians last week.