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Press Review


“168 Zham” says the dominant view among Armenian observers is that President Serzh Sarkisian’s scathing attack on the Audit Chamber locked in a dispute with the government was “yet another show stage-managed by the authorities.” “Either Serzh Sarkisian himself organized the rumpus caused by the Audit Chamber report or … just looked on as tension rose,” speculates the paper. “Armenia is a small country, everyone knows everyone. This phrase often uttered in social settings is one of the key principles behind the work of the government system. It’s hard to believe that Serzh Sarkisian could have been uninformed beforehand about the content of the report made public by Ishkhan Zakarian. Armenia’s government hierarchy all but rules out such a possibility.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” hopes that “logical solutions” resulting from the report will not be late in coming. The paper says Sarkisian’s corresponding instructions to the Audit Chamber, the government and prosecutors were “timely and necessary.” “Otherwise, there would have been a deeper sense that various state institutions acting separately are trying to draw as many dividends as possible,” it says. “The entire system of state governance would have been left in an awkward situation.”

“Zhamanak” notes that the Office of the Prosecutor-General was quick to demand more information from the Audit Chamber after being criticized by Sarkisian. “It means that for the prosecutors Serzh Sarkisian’s instructions are a substitute for Armenia’s constitution,” writes the paper. “For what the prosecutors are doing after Sarkisian’s instructions should have been done immediately after media reports on the Audit Chamber report or Ishkhan Zakarian’s speech in the National Assembly.” This would have been in line with the constitution and other laws. “However, the constitution and laws are nothing while Serzh Sarkisian’s meetings and admonitions everything,” concludes “Zhamanak.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that ArmRosGapzrom (ARG), Armenia’s national gas distribution company, has posted 66 billion drams ($160 million) in losses incurred last year, a sharp increase from 2010 and 2011. “This indicator hides proof of government lies,” claims the paper. It believes that the increased losses are a further indication that the authorities concealed a rise in the price of Russian natural gas for Armenia in 2012. (The gas price for Armenian households has remained unchanged until this month.)

(Tigran Avetisian)
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