“168 Zham” says that recent days’ currency crisis in Armenia is dealing a severe blow to consumer confidence and well-being. “What is depreciating now is not the dram but the life of Armenian citizens,” declares the paper. It says that restoring their faith in the financial system will be much harder than recouping losses suffered by the dram.
“Zhamanak” dismisses the Armenian government’s and Central Bank’s assurances that the dram is now grossly undervalued, accusing them of trying to dodge responsibility for the situation. The paper says the authorities are complaining about currency speculations instead of finding solutions to them.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that the upbeat statements made by the authorities are tantamount to a “verbal intervention” in the currency market. “A good thing about verbal intervention is that it can be done only once,” writes the paper. “It could have a totally different influence on market players if applied for a second time.” The situation in Russia is a vivid example of that, it says.
“Everybody says that the situation is incomprehensible because speculators are operating in the market,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “But nobody dares to name those speculators. They are not only not being unmasked and neutralized but are also consistently kept in the game.”
“Zhoghovurd” blasts the Yerevan Mayor’s Office for going ahead with plans to organize costly New Year and Christmas parties for its employees. By comparison, the paper says, the municipality has allocated only 360,000 drams ($760) to a charity canteen that gives free meals to poor people.
“Aravot” reports that Levon Yeranosian, a deputy chief of the Armenian police and the commander of the country’s interior troops, is continuing to threaten with violence anyone who will dare to make offensive comments about President Serzh Sarkisian. Yeranosian is doing so despite being reprimanded by his immediate boss, Vladimir Gasparian. “It looks like he is trying to get another reprimand,” comments the paper. “But speaking seriously, our high-ranking officials have not yet realized what the state is all about, what the police, ministers or deputies are obliged to do and what obligations we, citizens, have.”