“Zhamanak” concludes from what Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian said at the start of budget discussions in parliament on Tuesday that the government suggests that lawmakers “discuss nothing”. “In this sense, remarkable was his statement that next year they will spend “as much as we have”. Note that he did not say “as much as we plan” but “as much as we have”. This is nothing else than a direct request from lawmakers to make few demands to the government,” the paper writes.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on the premier’s statement calling on lawmakers to avoid “politicization of the budget debate”. “Political questions connected with the budget are not in how its scanty resources are distributed, but have to do with the economy. Why the state of the economy is such that there is catastrophically little money? What to do for the situation to improve in the future? It is clear why there is little money. Because for years small and medium-sized enterprises in Armenia have been stifled, the economy has been monopolized, millions of dollars have been squandered and embezzled. This, of course, is a political issue, but it does not concern the 2015 budget specifically. As to what to do for the situation to improve in the years to come, this is also clearly a political issue.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” suggests that if early elections are high on the political agenda of the three parliamentary minority parties known as a “trio”, then they should seek the dissolution of the parliament today. “In today’s conditions the de jure mechanisms of forcing preterm parliamentary elections are not quite clear and political mechanisms are also rather complex and vague. In this sense, the only real thing that may be under the control of the trio is giving up their parliament seats. But the thing is that it won’t ensure preterm parliamentary elections if the party of [President] Serzh [Sarkisian] manages to make it through 2017 with a parliament without a minority. In short, the trio has to explain how in practical terms it imagines a situation in which early parliamentary elections will have to be held.”
“Zhoghovurd” blames the European Union for the current foreign policies of Armenia that opted for integration with post-Soviet allies in September 2013 preferring it to an association agreement with the 28-nation bloc. “It was the EU rather than Russia that is to blame for Armenia’s becoming fully controlled by Russia. Apart from failing to show any essential support for Armenia, which, unlike Georgia and Moldova, has a totally different geopolitical status, it exerted maximum pressure, driving Armenia into an impasse. But it was a rare case when Serzh Sarkisian’s foreign-policy maneuvers were being made with high precision, and had there been a desire, it would have become possible to find special solutions for Armenia regarding both association with the EU and membership in the [Russian-led] Customs Union.”