“Zhamanak” reacts angrily to the re-appointment of Narek Sargsian, Yerevan’s controversial chief architect who oversaw a massive redevelopment in the city center marred by forcible evictions of hundreds of families. The paper also blames him for the shrinkage of green areas in the Armenian capital. “Sargsian’s return to the post of chief architect testifies to the return of the cement era,” it says, adding that the authorities have once again demonstrated that “they don’t give a damn about public opinion.”
Speaking to “Aravot,” Ashot Bleyan, a former parliament deputy, says President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to declare another amnesty for jailed opposition members and hundreds of other individuals is a welcome but long-overdue step. “But that is already a result,” he says. “Injustice and lack of freedom in Armenia has decreased a little, and that can not fail to influence the society. Illegally imprisoned people will be free, with us, with their families.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the Armenian government has indirectly responded to former President Robert Kocharian’s remark that the economic situation in the country has considerably worsened since he left office. The paper says the government has made a statement saying that the country’s economic indicators have deteriorated because of the global financial crisis and a flawed economic system that took shape when Kocharian was in power.
“Yerkir” comments on the upsurge in libel suits filed against Armenian newspapers critical of the government by pro-government politicians, parliament deputies and former officials. The paper accuses these plaintiffs of gaining a “new method of making money.” It says the success of their “campaign against the media” depends on Armenia’s judicial system.
Citing unnamed Foreign Ministry sources, “Hayots Ashkhar” says decisions regarding the opening or closure of Armenian embassies abroad are taken “on subjective grounds.” The paper says this happens when, for example, there is a need to “remove some political figure from the country without offending them” or when a newly appointed ambassador has connections abroad and can secure funding for the embassy building. It says the Armenian government now plans to open an embassy in Denmark, a country with which Armenia has few ties.