“Zhamanak” believes that “a considerable part of the society” does not care about the corruption allegations made by the Armenian parliament’s Audit Chamber. “The thing is that what the authorities are doing today, namely the way in which [corruption] revelations are being made, is not enough, to put it mildly, to change public attitudes,” writes the paper. “Standard steps are not sufficient for changing those attitudes. The authorities need to take revolutionary steps in this area in order to convince people.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the report submitted by the Audit Chamber chairman, Ishkhan Zakarian, is not just a political “show” but also part of a government effort to punish “petty looters” in the state bureaucracy. The paper claims that “petty theft” of public money poses an increasingly serious threat to the far more corrupt ruling elite. “Hence, new emphases in the discourse of the government elite,” it says. “A number of hapless bureaucrats will definitely be sacked soon. A couple of others will probably be put in prison. The question is whether anything will change as a result of that.”
“I am convinced that there will be punishments,” Ishkhan Zakarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “We verify the execution of the 2012 state budget every day and will keep the public posted. In one of the cases, a high-level state official has already been relieved of his duties. I can publicize only that fact for the time being. Let’s see to which areas our further reports will apply … The key thing is that we have boldly entered that field. I believe that one day we will come out and say that these two spheres have been freed from corruption risks.”
“Orakarg” is surprised by parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian’s angry reaction to the Audit Chamber report. “When the number two figure in the state hierarchy and a representative of the ruling party speaks of embezzlement of the budget that is not quite comprehensible,” explains the paper. “Hovik Abrahamian, who has gone through all echelons of power, must be well aware of how the authorities use the state budget. It is surprising that Hovik Abrahamian is surprised.” The paper sees political motives behind his reaction.