“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that unlike virtually all of his ministers, Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian has held no year-end news conferences this time around. “You can understand the prime minister,” writes the opposition daily. “The situation is not good. And it’s not possible to control questions that would be asked at the news conference. Unless, of course, only ‘responsible’ media outlets are invited to the news conference … Everything seems to be working against the prime minister. Of course, the prime minister himself is to blame to for this.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” comments on Transport and Communications Minister Manuk Vartanian’s remark that an ambitious highway project devised by the Armenian government is still not being implemented because Armenia lacks construction firms capable of meeting the highest construction standards. The paper dismisses this explanation, saying that the government should have thought about that before spending “huge sums” on preparatory work. “Maybe they should have ascertained that at the beginning,” it says. “One would also like to know whether there is a company in Armenia capable of building an Armenia-Iran railway or a ‘world city.’”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says 2010 has been a year of “drastic U-turns” in Armenia’s foreign policy and “internal political expectations accompanying them.” “Difficult and contradictory process registered this year in relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey have also had an impact on the internal political situation in Armenia, greatly conditioning the further course of regroupings of political forces, ” says the pro-presidential paper. It says that staring from July, the Karabakh peace process increasingly drove out the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement out of the country’s public and political agenda.
Hrant Ter-Abrahamian, a pro-opposition columnist, tells Lragir.am that the past year has been one of “numerous public initiatives that have very interesting potential.” “For example, the fight against changes in the law on language, is not fading away but gaining new momentum and meaning, even after their passage,” says Ter-Abrahamian. “Public activity was fostered by an active political phase that began in 2008 and bound together many people and created a network of sorts on the one hand, and the spread of the Internet on the other. I continue to look at things with moderate optimism. The changes that occurred in 2010 will spawn more developments in the coming years and we will have a new society.”