“Zhoghovurd” reports that the Armenian government is drafting a new law that will effectively renew the mandatory and controversial reform of the national pension system that was struck down by the Constitutional Court in April. The paper condemns this “trickery,” saying that “the government is simply fooling the public by presenting the same thing under a different name.” It says that the Armenian opposition will also bear responsibility for this if it fails to resist the government plans with “drastic steps.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the government does not care about the future of young workers covered by the unpopular reform. If it did, the paper says, it would have cracked down on corruption and ensured fair competition, thereby creating more jobs and raising living standards in Armenia. The real purpose of the reform is to channel workers’ extra social security contributions into the real estate market and facilitate the sale of many luxury apartments that have been built in Yerevan over the past decade, claims the pro-opposition daily.
“168 Zham” reports that the Armenian police released on Monday the son of a senior aide to Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian, who was arrested in connection with a shooting incident reported last week, at the request of two pro-government parliament deputies. The paper says this case illustrates the impunity enjoyed by many Armenian government officials, their cronies and relatives. “This is an Armenia belonging to several hundred people,” it concludes grimly.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also blasts those lawmakers, arguing that the young man, Samvel Kotanjian, fired gunshots from a pistol which he possessed illegally, according to the police. “It’s good that the young man is now free,” writes the paper. “It’s just it would have been better if the deputies who guaranteed his cooperation with the police had pledged in writing to go to jail in case of a repeat of the incident.”
“Hraparak” reports that a company owned by the governor of Armenia’s Aragatsotn province has won a $40,000 government tender to rebuild the water supply system of one of the regional villages. The paper says that it was granted the contract despite the fact that another firm offered to do the same work for only $29,000. “The governor and his cronies have bullied and threatened its owner to make sure that he stays out of the contest,” it says.