“Zhamanak” says that the youth movement No To Plunder has to reason to resume its demonstrations against a recent rise in electricity prices in Armenia. The paper says that the Armenian government has so far found only a temporary and incomplete solution to the protesters’ demands backed by the vast majority of people. It says that both the government and the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility must remain under public pressure now that they are planning an international audit of the ENA. It also suggests that the renewed “Electric Yerevan” protests could hamper President Serzh Sarkisian’s efforts to push through constitutional amendments to Armenia’s constitution.
“Aravot” disagrees with those commentators who believe that Armenian opposition parties negotiating with Sarkisian over the constitutional reform are not really in opposition to his administration. “The issue is not the constitution or the [regime’s] reproduction,” editorializes the paper. “The issue is formulating policies based on new principles guiding not only the government but also the entire political system, however grandiose that might sound. We cannot afford to continue living with customary Armenian models developed in the 1990s. “
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to offer ex-Soviet republics aligned in the Commonwealth of Independent States to stop using the U.S. dollar and the euro in their mutual trade. “Whether or not this would be beneficial for Armenia is difficult to say at this point,” comments the paper. “But one can expect the Armenian authorities to respond positively to this initiative just because it is proposed by Russia’s authorities.”
“Zhoghovurd” is worried about Putin’s initiative. “The Armenia economy has already been suffering a lot because of its dependence on the Russian ruble,” writes the paper. “Processes in international markets adversely affecting Russia rapidly have knock-on effects on our country. If our dependence on the ruble grows further then Armenia’s economy will simply be unable to cope with that currency’s exchange rate fluctuations. So if the Armenian authorities do not want to finally destroy the economy they will have to say no to the Russian side. Will they do that?”