“Yerkir” continues to criticize the new Armenian government’s program, saying that it gravely lacks substance. “The government continues to stubbornly attribute the failure of its previous program only to the financial-economic crisis of 2008 and 2009,” writes the paper. “The government has never admitted the impact of subjective factors resulting from its shortcomings on that failure.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” is skeptical about the government’s pledges to significantly reduce poverty in the next five years. “People’s incomes are falling while everything around them is becoming more expensive,” claims the pro-opposition paper. “Armenia’s problem is that this is like a natural disaster and the society has absolutely no influence on those phenomena.”
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar,” Galust Sahakian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), dismisses opposition claims about the government’s failed socioeconomic policies. “I don’t think that any program was not implemented. If the government underperformed in some areas there were mitigating circumstances,” Sahakian says, citing the global economic crisis. He insists that the government has coped with the crisis well.
“Aravot” comments on intensifying criticism of TV soap operas voiced by prominent Armenian intellectuals. “From time to time, our intellectuals, who are probably idle and seek to express their civic stance on some innocent subject, decide to deal with the TV series,” editorializes the paper. “Protesting against the TV series is a safe thing indeed. The target of criticism is ambiguous and fuzzy. It’s neither an official nor an oligarch or a bodyguard who could cause you physical injuries.” The paper points out that the same intellectuals have not publicly protested against vote rigging in last month’s parliamentary elections or the recent violent incident at a Yerevan restaurant owned by one of the oligarchs. Instead, they are urging President Serzh Sarkisian to help stop the production of soap operas. “Aravot” is categorically against any government interference in TV stations’ programming, saying that only totalitarian states play the role of “defenders of public morality.”