“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Armenian authorities are doing everything to avoid any public discussions of their controversial pension reform. “In case of such discussions, the government will be destroyed by the numerous arguments of [reform] opponents,” claims the pro-opposition paper.
“Zhamanak” says that Artur Baghdasarian, the secretary of Armenia’s National Security Council, has begun a visit to Switzerland following reports that Turkey last month asked the Swiss government to try to facilitate another Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. “Baghdasarian’s departure to Switzerland suggests that official Yerevan is at least not against this proposal,” speculates the paper. “Armenia could not have turned it down because it is now critical for Yerevan to politically please the West and find ways of improving relations.” To that end, it says, the Armenian government is ready to sacrifice greater international recognition of the Armenian genocide.
“Zhoghovurd” criticizes Urban Development Minister Samvel Tadevosian for “wasting” around $2,000 in budgetary funds on the purchase of new furniture for his ministry.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” notes in this regard that Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian on Wednesday demonstratively refused to answer a question in the parliament about the wisdom of such expenditures, which have also been reported by other ministries. He said only that the government can spend the money on repairing village schools but will not do that. The paper says such statements are a measure of the ruling regime’s self-confidence.
“Hraparak” denounces “such unjustified expenditures” in an editorial. “Why do they view a government post or parliament seat in our country as an opportunity to make money, set up businesses, establish useful connections, evade taxes and have fun abroad, rather than an obligation to work and create something?” asks the paper.
“Aravot” disapproves of reported plans by the Armenian Apostolic Church to build another church in central Yerevan. The paper says this is further proof of the fact that for many senior Armenian clerics “material, exterior and superficial things” are more important that true Christian values.