(Saturday, June 8)
“Zhoghovurd” comments on socioeconomic consequences of steep rises in natural gas and electricity prices that were officially announced by Armenian regulatory authorities on Friday. “Virtually all goods and services will become more expensive very soon,” predicts the paper. “On the other hand, the population’s incomes will remain unchanged. At any rate, no steps are being taken for raising wages and pensions in real terms. And that means people in Armenia will soon be much worse off than before.” The paper goes on to claim that a popular revolt in the country is “a matter of time.”
“One should anticipate a series of price hikes whose impact on the population will be more visible starting from this fall,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper says that a further rise in the gas price is possible because the new tariff set by the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) will be subsidized by the Armenian government. “As soon as the subsidy ends we will have a more than 60 percent rise in the gas tariff, which will lead to a further rise in the electricity tariff, which will in turn provoke a chain reaction of other price rises,” it says.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” dismisses the official theory of the June 1 shootings outside the home of former Syunik Governor Suren Khachatrian. Citing footage from security cameras, the paper also points out that although the shootings lasted for over 30 minutes police officers in the Syunik town of Goris did not arrive at the scene to stop the bloodshed.
“A criminal atmosphere has taken hold in the country and rules adopted in the criminal underworld have profoundly entered our life,” writes “Hraparak.” “The reason for this is not only a lack of education and upbringing but the situation within the government. Officials themselves have created this situation and are encouraging it every day … If a state official was punished for their impudence, criminal behavior or any display of disrespect we would have a totally different situation.”