“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that a widely anticipated further increase in the prices of electricity in Armenia could trigger massive anti-government street protests. “It can be concluded that a movement against the electricity price hike has officially gotten underway,” writes the paper. “Given the fact that more expensive electricity will hit everybody’s pockets and that this blow will be quite strong, one should expect the movement to gain momentum day by day.”
“Hraparak” dismisses assurances by Robert Nazarian, the chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), that poor management of the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility is not the key factor behind the upcoming price rise. Nazarian has blamed the unpopular measure on longer-than-expected stoppages in the work of the Metsamor nuclear plant and decreased water levels of Armenian rivers flowing through hydroelectric stations. The paper says that does not make any difference to ordinary Armenians.
“The scapegoat for the sorry state of affairs in the energy sector seems to have been found: it’s Energy Minister Yervand Zakharian,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “And he is readily performing that role, thereby seemingly paying the price for his post.”
“Aravot” claims that most Armenian businesses will go bankrupt if they stop evading taxes through shadowy cash transactions. The paper says this creates a fertile ground for “corruption and theft” and among tax, customs and other government officials dealing with even minor economic issues. “Breaking up or, if you like, dismantling this criminal system, the psychological groundwork for which was laid at least 50 years ago, would mean totally disrupting the existing business relationships,” it says in an editorial.