“Aravot” says that the Armenian opposition must not seek to spark a “social revolt” in the country. “Nobody would benefit from that revolt, neither the rebels, nor the rebel leaders. Not to mention the patrician authorities,” editorializes the paper. “It is better to have state structures function in some, even corrupt and disgusting, fashion than not function at all. The worst and ugliest dictatorial order is better than disturbances and chaos.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees an important change in government rhetoric. “Until one or two weeks ago, everyone [in the government camp] was saying that there are no prerequisites for a social revolt in Armenia, that Armenians don’t like revolting and that it is therefore wrong to worry about that issue,” writes the pro-opposition paper. “Today totally different thoughts are being expressed.” It says government officials and pro-government loyalists now argue that Azerbaijan would exploit unrest in Armenia to attack Nagorno-Karabakh. “So the authorities’ self-confidence is gone and they are now trying to convince our revolt-averse people to stay clam,” claims the paper. “But since persuasion alone won’t work, they are also openly threatening.”
“Hraparak” predicts further rises in the prices of foodstuffs and bread in particular. The paper says that if the price of natural gas also goes up soon “it is not clear how the government and Serzh Sarkisian, who had given grandiose pre-election promises, will free themselves from the claws of a social revolt.” The paper says government officials and loyalists are wrong to be complacent about the existing socioeconomic situation.
Sergei Bagratian, the governor of the southeastern Vayots Dzor province, tells “Zhamanak” that Armenians will not revolt against their government despite grappling with “quite a lot of social problems.” “We have a psychological problem in our province,” he says. “Namely, citizens do not seem to be ready to solve their problems by themselves. Every day we receive citizens who really don’t know what to do.”
“Yerkir” says key consumer prices in Armenia continue to rise. “The authorities have found a way of making the public become accustomed to inflation,” comments the paper. “They point to the worldwide economic decline and inflation and -- when it comes to [the cost of] agricultural products -- unfavorable weather conditions. The public has started coming to grips with its daily impoverishment.” The paper says that bad weather is not the main reason for last year’s decline in agricultural production. It fell primarily because more and more Armenian farmers stop cultivating land because of a lack of machinery, fertilizers and seeds, claims “Yerkir.”