“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” condemns as a “pinnacle of government meanness” the forthcoming abolition of unemployment benefits in Armenia. The paper argues that no democratically elected government in the world would resort to such a drastic measure. “Obviously, it is impossible to live on those 18,000 drams ($45) per month,” it says. “But it does not mean that the government should come out and say, ‘You are not really unemployed, you all get by with hidden jobs, why should we waste money?’ If this is the case, then pensions should also be abolished because living off pensions in one way or another is also impossible, which is why 75-80 percent of pensioners survive thanks to their children.”
“At least for now, Europe does not want anything from Armenia,” writes “Zhamanak.” “After [the upcoming EU summit in] Vilnius Europe will decide what it wants and will come up with corresponding variants, development scenarios or perhaps substantive news.” The paper believes that the European Union will pay more attention to Armenia if it succeeds in concluding Association Agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia at the Vilnius summit slated for November 28-29.
“168 Zham” says that the U.S.-based group Policy Forum Armenia (PFA) has released a damning report on government corruption in Armenia and its severe impact on the country’s population. The report claims that financial damage caused by various corrupt practices is equivalent to more than 7 percent of Gross Domestic Product. “In 2011, for instance, the budgetary losses totaled $750 million,” the paper writes, citing the PFA. “Corruption also reduces the rate of economic growth by 2 percentage points. That means Armenia’s GDP would have been worth $16.4 billion, instead of the current $10.5 billion, if there had been a genuine fight against corruption and if shortcomings in state governance had been eliminated.”