(Saturday, September 24)
“Zhamanak” editorializes on Friday’s rally of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), suggesting that the opposition bloc only gave the taste of its future message rather than delivered the message itself. “Of course, statements were made and people were urged to get ready for a civil disobedience campaign…but still in presenting all that, including eight demands to the government that ranged from holding snap elections to resolving social issues, HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian still left a footpath for himself to retreat. He explained that they weren’t maximalists and would be ready to hear a government alternative to all that if it were serious and substantial.”
Commenting on the same opposition gathering, “Yerkir” slams Ter-Petrosian’s conciliatory stance on Turkish-Armenian relations and the Karabakh settlement. The paper does not argue with the opposition about what it calls an ‘axiomatic truth’ that legitimate authorities are needed for democratic development. “But in his speech at the September 23 rally Ter-Petrosian also invented a new, artificial truth, that is, the formation of legitimate authorities is also necessary for making concessions in the matter of Turkish-Armenian relations and the Karabakh conflict settlement, or, to be more precise, for resolving these issues in accordance with the interests of Western powers. The current government, according to the HAK leader, cannot solve these issues only because it is illegitimate, and the West cannot achieve this noble goal because it bet on the wrong man.”
The “Aravot” daily editor wonders how his colleagues from other Armenian media can be so aware of what is going on within the narrow circles of the government or the opposition unless they are part of those circles. “When I read an opposition paper I learn what [president] Serzh Sarkisian said to his close surroundings. Either these papers have bugs in the presidential administration or they are personally involved in those close surroundings. When I read a pro-government periodical, it strikes me again how the journalists could find out what Armenia’s first president and current opposition leader was talking about with his closest associates. If they are his closest associates, why do they criticize the opposition leader then?” he writes, concluding that such ‘literary essays’ about the private conversations of political leaders have no stronger effect than ‘a coffee cup fortune-telling session with a neighbor’.
In an interview with ‘Hayots Ashkhar” member of the parliamentary faction of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Artsvik Minasian blames the government for doing nothing to avert another expected economic crisis or at least cushion the blow. “Perhaps our government finds it impossible to confront this crisis and, like in a well-known joke, it is going ‘to get maximum pleasure out of the unavoidable situation’. And because of this economic policy our citizens’ standard of living will once again be falling and our economy will be getting even less competitive,” the politician claims.