“168 Zham” reacts scathingly to the final passage of the Armenian government’s controversial foreign-language school bill, claiming that it “effectively gives Russian the status of a state language” in Armenia. The paper says that just hours after the bill’s passage Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian was treated like a Russian regional governor during talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. “It is possible that Armenia’s authorities deliberately timed the law’s adoption to Tigran Sarkisian’s Moscow visit,” it speculates.
“Zhamanak” says the passage of the bill means “the state can change everything for a handful of private investors.” “So if some wealthy person from Russia, the United States, Europe or the United Arab Emirates promises tomorrow to make several billion dollars worth of investments in Armenia so long as the authorities agree to, say, put the picture of that investor … on the state coat-in-arms, that demand can be fulfilled,” speculates the paper.
“No political force has the mandate to speak on behalf of all people,” deputy parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” He also says that in every society there are marginal minority groups whose “attitudes and views absolutely do not match the national and state interests and instead cater for the needs of some individual, group or a foreign force.”
Mark Horton, the head of an International Monetary Fund mission visiting Armenia, tells “Kapital” that the ratio of Armenia’s external debt to Gross Domestic Product might pass the 50 percent mark in 2011. “We had forecast that the figure will stand at 49.2 percent in 2011,” he says. “That depends on a number of factors. For instance, if economic growth is weak the figure will naturally be higher. We hope that economic growth in Armenia will be faster and the debt/GDP ratio lower next year.” Horton further states that the Armenian dram is “overvalued” at present.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” blames the Armenian authorities for increased inflation in 2010, saying that the April surge in gas prices could and should have been less drastic. “Their only goal was to clinch as much cash as possible from the people,” claims the opposition daily. “There is simply no other explanation.”