“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports on President Serzh Sarkisian’s endorsement of a controversial government bill on foreign-language schools. The paper describes as a “lie” Sarkisian’s claims that such schools would enable many gifted children to receive proper education in Armenia, instead of having to study abroad, and that many Diaspora Armenians would send their children to Armenia for the same reason.
“First of all, everybody knows that those schools will be opened not for Diaspora Armenians but children of high-ranking government officials in Armenia,” adds “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Secondly, if there is anything connecting Diaspora Armenians to their homeland, that is the Armenian language. Why would Armenians living in, say, Los Angeles study in Yerevan’s English-language schools? … Besides, if that is the purpose [of the law,] what keeps them from making it clear in the law that only foreign citizens can study in foreign-language schools?”
“[Sarkisian’s] reaction was anticipated because the government did not blink despite the public discontent, insisting confidently that it will not step back from its initiative,” writes “Zhamanak.” The paper says this is a further indication that the bill was initiated by the country’s supreme leadership, rather than the Education Ministry. It suggests that Russia may have also been behind the unpopular measure. “By publicizing his endorsement [of the bill,] Serzh Sarkisian probably tried to assure Russia that there is no need to be nervous as the process is under his direct control,” speculates the paper.
“We don’t deny that there are some socioeconomic and corruption-related difficulties, injustice, oligarchic monopolies in Armenia,” Garnik Isagulian, Sarkisian’s representative to the Armenian parliament, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “However, there are no prerequisites for a social rebellion. There is some social tension, strife in our country, but I believe that the society is conscious of the fact that any complication of the internal political situation would directly harm a pro-Armenian settlement of the Artsakh conflict.”
“Drugs produced in Armenia meet 10-12 percent of domestic demand,” reports “Kapital.” “There are 14 drug-producing and 27 drug-importing firms in the republic.” The chairman of a business association uniting them, Samvel Zakarian, is quoted as saying that Armenia mainly exports some medicines to the Commonwealth of Independent States and imports others from the European Union, the United States and Japan.