“168 Zham” does not exclude that Yerevan’s Marshal Bagramian Avenue will again be occupied by activists demonstrating against an electricity price hike in the next few days. “The past several days demonstrated that keeping Bagramian shut down for no obvious reason increasingly wears down a movement that was extremely energizing just a few days ago,” writes the paper. It believes that the “Electric Yerevan” movement needs a new agenda and possibly new leaders in order to again attract thousands of people to its rallies. The movement can no longer do that with mere demands for a cancellation of the price hike, according to “168 Zham.”
“The movement against the electricity price rise must continue,” editorializes “Aravot.” “To that end, it has to learn lessons. One of those lessons is to appreciate its gradual achievements. That requires patience and consistency.”
“One has to conclude that the Armenian society has shown that it is alive and kicking and is not apathetic or irreversibly stagnant,” “Zhamanak” says, commenting on the two-week standoff between the “Electric Yerevan” protesters and the Armenian government. “Everything depends on the choice of a mobilizing idea and cause.”
Citing the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a United Nations agency, “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that international prices of basic foodstuffs were down by 20.7 percent in May from the same period in 2014. In Armenia, by contrast, food prices rose by around 5 percent year on year in May. “The main reason for this situation is that imports of basic goods, including foodstuffs, to Armenia are extremely monopolized and do not follow the logic of the free market,” claims the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” cites different data from Armenia’s National Statistical Service (NSS). It shows that the number of officially employed people in the country dropped by over 10,000 in the first half of this year. This decrease is construed by the paper as an indication of rising unemployment. “This reflects the deplorable state of the Armenian economy,” it says.