“Zhamanak” dismisses the government argument that unemployment benefits must be scrapped because as a rule, they are not received by jobless people. The paper says this testifies to the fact that “in effect, a system of state governance does not function in Armenia.”
“Why is it being done now?” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “Didn’t the authorities know before that the unemployment benefits do not make a difference, that people do not live off them? Of course they knew. But the pace of out-migration has left them in panic.” The pro-opposition paper alleges that the authorities hope that individuals receiving such benefits will start looking for jobs and replace their “serfs” leaving the country.
“Zhoghovurd” expects the municipal authorities in Yerevan to again try to raise public transport fees. The paper says that the upcoming recommendations of an ad hoc commission on transport set up recently by Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian will serve as a “smokescreen for legitimatizing” the highly unpopular measure. It wonders whether such a move will again spark the kind of street protests that forced Markarian to reverse a bus fare hike in July. “The municipal authorities certainly have an answer to this question,” it says.
In an interview with “Aravot,” Poland’s ambassador to Armenia, Zdzislaw Raczynski, says that very few people in Armenia are informed about crucial terms of their country’s planned accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. He also insists that the European Union’s draft Association Agreement with Armenia was “not kept secret.” “Hundreds of people from the Armenian side -- experts, politicians -- participated in the preparation of that document,” argues Raczynski. “That agreement is known to many people, and I’m sure that our Russian colleagues also know its details. They know that it is a merely regulatory document.”