“Hayots Ashkhar” is glad that May Day is a public holiday in Armenia because “people need to free in order to properly celebrate.” “It is this latter component, joy, that is missing from the holiday,” editorializes the paper. “People have neither desire nor possibilities to rejoice.”
“Hraparak” reports on a growing number of people visiting its offices with various grievances which they want to be published in the paper before the May 5 municipal elections in Yerevan. They think that the authorities will have no incentives to address their complaints after the elections.
Deputy Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian tells “Aravot” that positive effects of Armenia’s forthcoming Association Agreement with the European Union will not be felt immediately after its entry into force. “It would certainly be wrong to say that everything will change by 2018,” he says. “The Association Agreement also corresponds to the ideology of our internal reforms. When we joined the Council of Europe in 2001 our system of democracy, human rights and rule of law did not become the best one meeting all [international] standards by 2002. Now, in 2013, we are still working in many directions and our society is still facing problems in the political and public fields. But we must also admit that the Armenias of 2001 and 2013 are already different Armenias … The Association Agreement will be a new milestone, a new base.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that when a new law on personal income tax came into effect in January the Armenian government assured people that it will not increase the tax burden on individual and corporate taxpayers. According to the State Revenue Committee, the government’s tax revenues soared by 24 person in the first quarter of this year. The pro-opposition paper claims this shows that companies and individuals have had to pay significantly more taxes. “Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian has once again deceived the people after declaring that taxes will not rise,” it says. (In fact, SRC data shows that the revenue increase mainly resulted from improved administration in the collection of value-added tax and customs duties from imported goods.)
“Inflation is gaining momentum,” writes “Orakarg.” The paper says the government has reported that the annual inflation rate reached 3.9 percent in April because of sizable increases in food prices.