“When the state takes a step, it must calculate all consequences of that step,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial on a recent series of unpopular government decisions. “First of all, social consequences. One of the recent examples is [the introduction of] mandatory car insurance. On the whole, it is a right step … But to start that thing today, in this social situation where even paying 25,000 drams a year is a huge expenditure for a considerable part of our fellow citizens, is absolutely not timely.” The same is true for the ban on street trade, says the paper. “After all, we are talking about concrete people and a living earned by them,” it says.
“Zhamanak” says that political groups linked to former President Robert Kocharian have found themselves in a “fairly difficult situation.” “They are wondering who will take care of them if something happens,” claims the paper. “And the prospect of that ‘something’ happening in Armenia seems to be becoming more and more real.” It says those forces are probably hedging their bets and boosting ties with Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK).
Artak Davtian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Armenian Central Bank is using Armenia’s hard currency reserves to also shore up price stability in the country. But he complains that a lack of “reserves of basic foodstuffs” makes it very difficult for the authorities to prevent sharp rises in food prices. “For example, the egg crisis before the New Year would not have happened if the state had stored several million eggs and put them on the market,” says Davtian. “And imagine what would have happened if the five-day Russian-Georgian war lasted longer. So life itself proves that that is the most effective way of guarding against unpredictable situations and that forming appropriate reserves must be one of the key government objectives so that the population becomes immune to such ups and downs.”
Speaking to “Hraparak,” Hrant Vartanian, a millionaire businessman and parliament deputy, hints that it is easier for him to do business in Georgia than in Armenia. “In our country, the government is pursuing a slightly incomprehensible policy towards domestic manufacturers and agriculture,” he says. “So I can’t say precisely where things are more beneficial for me. That they are not beneficial in Armenia now is obvious. But, of course, we will be fighting till the end.”