“Hayots Ashkhar” says that a “ten-day political truce” in Armenia resulting from the New Year and Christmas holidays is over and that everyone can now do and say “whatever springs to their minds.” The pro-establishment paper complains that the holiday celebrations have steadily “lost their meaning” over the past two decades and become a “dead season.” It also claims that Armenians “can’t live without intrigues and dirty tricks.”
“Hraparak” fears that the new year will as “colorless and stagnant” as 2010. “Will we be able to make unprecedented and long-awaited progress this year?” asks the pro-opposition paper. “This is the main question of the year.”
“Aravot” reports that a new procedure for payment of pensions introduced by the Armenian government this month “has cause real chaos,” with pensioners waiting for hours and even days to receive their modest benefits from post offices across the country. Pensioners were previously delivered to them by employees of the State Social Security Service who have been laid off by the government. The paper says there have been “huge lines” at post offices in Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district since January 4.
“Kapital” reports that Vartan Harutiunian, the acting chief executive of the ArmRosGazprom (ARG) national gas distribution company, said on Monday that the company looks forward to the upcoming launch of the Fifth Block of a thermal power plant located in Hrazdan. The facility is owned by ARG and its dominant shareholder, Russia’s Gazprom energy conglomerate.
“Zhamanak” says some Armenian “oligarchs” have found a way to get around President Serzh Sarkisian’s order to have fewer bodyguards and ride in smaller motorcades. The paper claims that many of those bodyguards now follow their bosses in smaller and less eye-catching cars with special license plates used by taxi drivers. “Serzh Sarkisian’s order is thus deemed executed,” it says.