“Aravot” criticizes the Yerevan municipality’s perceived slow response to a heavy snowfall on Wednesday. “When it snows in Yerevan, it’s a real emergency for residents,” editorializes the paper. “In recent years, meteorologists’ facilities have become so sophisticated that their weather forecasts are now quite accurate.” It says the authorities therefore knew about the upcoming snowfall and should have been prepared for it.
“Yerkir” claims the snowfall and the resulting upsurge in car accidents demonstrated that the introduction of mandatory car insurance in Armenia was “untimely.” The paper says insurance agents were too slow to respond to accident alerts from drivers. “They say they are not ready,” it says. “But you were ready to force [drivers to buy insurance policies,] weren’t you? After such a justification, people feel that they were once again deceived.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees a “lively discussion” going on over why, unlike in Egypt, the 2008 anti-government protests in Armenia were suppressed by the authorities. “Some say there are no prerequisites for that happening in Armenia, others say the reason is our national mentality because our people don’t like revolting,” writes the paper. “Others say the reason is the quality of the opposition or its lack of determination and so on.” The pro-opposition daily believes that there are “more than enough prerequisites” for an anti-government uprising in Armenia not least because Armenians have to spend an even higher proportion of their family budgets on food than Egyptians. It also argues that unlike the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Armenian authorities used the army against demonstrators.
“It is not fair to blame the [Armenian] opposition,” continues “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “The reason is the authorities, or rather the fact that Armenia has no authorities. Authority here was seized by a small ground of criminals. Fighting against them is simply dangerous for life.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Armenian oppositionists have “mixed feelings” about the protests in Egypt and Tunisia. “[Levon] Ter-Petrosian’s Congress is no doubt extremely galvanized,” says the pro-presidential paper. “Furthermore, acting on behalf of the Armenian society, it says that the successive regime changes in the Arab world have also buoyed our society. That is hardly true because interest is one thing and enthusiasm another. Our society can not be buoyed by the chaotic situation, hundreds of casualties and anarchy that is reigning in Egypt.”
“Hraparak” derides President Serzh Sarkisian, parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian and Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian for deciding to continue to head the supervisory boards of Armenia’s leading state universities. “Either these individuals have so much free time that they are able to perform such important work without pay, or that work is not important,” reasons the paper.