(Saturday, March 20)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports on former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s latest “very tough” statements on Armenia’s current leadership and, in particular, its “failed” policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Events are currently in developing in a direction undesirable and extremely dangerous for us, and we need to resort to drastic steps,” Oskanian told A1Plus.am. Representatives of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) quickly dismissed Oskanian’s statements, implying that President Serzh Sarkisian is continuing the policy of Armenia’s previous government, of which Oskanian was a key member.
“Hayk” reports that law-enforcement authorities recorded ten instances of corruption in Armenia in the first three weeks of this month. “This indicator can make us the envy of even Swedes and Finns,” comments the opposition daily. “During the same period they identified 11 cases of abuse of power and 16 cases of operational fraud or negligence.” The paper finds these numbers insufficient.
“Hraparak” notes that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threats to expel undocumented Armenians living in his country has provoked angry comments even from those in Armenia who were “nearly forgotten.”
In an interview with “168 Zham,” Smbat Nasibian, an economist and former governor of an Armenian commercial bank, criticizes the Armenian government’s handling of the economic crisis. “The 2-3 percent growth registered in January is not objective given our economic decline [in 2009,]” he says. “The pace of growth will be very slow, at around 5 percent, in the next three years.” Nasibian also predicts a further weakening of the Armenian dram in the coming months.
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” parliament deputy Naira Zohrabian defends the latest amendments to Armenia’s media legislation approved by the National Assembly on Thursday. “The aim of these changes is to shift news reporting from the level of yellow press to a professional field and give back the media its original function,” says the former journalist. “Namely, to provide impartial information, leaving [the job of making] conclusions and analyses to readers.”