(Saturday, February 11)
“Zhamanak” draws political conclusions from what it sees as the Armenian authorities’ failure to cope with consequences of heavy snowfall. The pro-opposition paper says that parliament deputies should have joined municipal workers in cleaning the streets of Yerevan and thus justifying their “huge salaries.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” also criticizes the authorities’ response to the emergency and says it exposed the ineptness of “the entire government system.” “Armenia’s problem is not heavy snow but the fact that the authorities don’t give a damn about this situation and only regard this as a good opportunity for money laundering,” claims the opposition daily.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” criticizes a new Armenian law on state of emergency which specifies cases where the government can use the armed forces for quelling domestic unrest. The opposition paper claims that President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharian have turned Armenia and it citizens into a new battlefield for the Armenian army. It points to the army’s involvement in the March 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan.
“Yerkir,” which is also critical of the government, mocks the European People’s Party (EPP) for accepting the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) into its ranks, saying that European politicians can learn a lot from their Armenian colleagues. “For example, Republican deputies can teach their European colleagues how to vote in the place of other deputies in the European Parliament,” the paper writes.
“Hayots Ashkhar” challenges the notion that democratic counties tend to be prosperous. The pro-government paper argues that “there are democracies that do not prosper and there are prosperous countries that are not democracies.” It gives the examples of Singapore, South Korea and China. “And China’s development is actually ensured by the lack of democracy,” says the paper.