“Zhamanak” says that the constitutional changes advanced by President Serzh Sarkisian are aimed at “solving the question of power redistribution” after Armenia’s next parliamentary elections due in 2017. “Those who have expectations on this issue have joined [the constitutional reform process,] openly or covertly,” writes the paper. “Those who risk being ‘written off’ have come out against the constitutional changes, saying that this is not what the country needs now. And they are right.” It says that Armenia first and foremost needs changes in economic policy, the judicial system and “societal mentality.”
“Zhoghovurd” says that the constitutional provisions guaranteeing property rights in Armenia have little to do with reality. The paper says that several dozen people who demonstrated outside the main government building in Yerevan on Thursday are a case in point. Their old homes in the city center were torn down about a decade ago as part of redevelopment projects backed by the government. Private developers who got hold of their properties have since failed to meet their contractual obligation to provide them with new housing, and the Armenian state has done nothing about that.
“Armenia has found itself in a situation where it is asking Russia, its supposed security guarantor, to do only one thing: to maintain neutrality [on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,]” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “That request is not always granted.” The paper argues that Russian officials continue to rationalize their arms deals with Azerbaijan.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the World Food Organization on Thursday reported a further sizable reduction of the global prices of foodstuffs, which was observed in August. Armenia’s National Statistical Service (NSS) also released a report on Thursday on consumer prices in the country. “It turned out that just the opposite happened in Armenia,” writes the paper. “Food prices rose by an average of 0.1 percent in August.” In particular, it says, the cost of bread in Armenia remained virtually unchanged despite a 7 percent drop in international wheat prices. The paper points out that large-scale imports to Armenia of this and other basic foodstuffs have long been monopolized by government-linked businesspeople.