(Saturday, December 27)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” describes as “hypersensational” Economy Minister Karen Chshmaritian’s claims that monopolies pose no threat to Armenia’s sustainable economic development. “And he does not know whether or not the monopolies in Armenia are abusing their dominant positions,” writes the paper. “Now it is clear why our economy is concentrated in the hands of a few oligarchs, why it is not competitive, why goods are expensive, unemployment high, poverty widespread and government officials are millionaires.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also considers the monopolies to be a scourge for the Armenian economy, saying that they squeeze many small firms out of business. As a result, the paper says, tens of thousands of people lose their livelihoods and leave the country.
“Membership in the Eurasian Economic Union will not quickly solve all of our problems,” Khosrov Harutiunian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “It’s not that the EEU is a paradise. Absolutely not. Furthermore, the establishment of the EEU creates the need to meet challenges coming from the West. The recent developments, the severe economic situation in Russia and problems periodically arising in Russia’s relationships with Belarus and Kazakhstan mean that the EEU has a long a way to go in establishing itself. On the other hand, Russia, our strategic partner, is the main locomotive of that union. Cooperation with it guarantees Russia’s and Armenia’s security.” Joining the EEU was therefore vital for Armenia’s national security, he adds.
“Hraparak” says that although the Armenian opposition has failed to generate a serious political crisis political life in the country has been quite “heated” and full of intrigues and “noteworthy moments” in 2014. “After all, significant changes occurred in the country,” writes the paper. “The country’s second and third most important officials were replaced. There were changes even in the opposition. For the first time in Armenia’s history, the opposition is led by a relative of the prime minister.” But the paper also points out that these changes have hardly affected the lives of ordinary Armenians.