“168 Zham” reports that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and members of his government made it clear to parliamentarians on Monday that “2016 will be a difficult year” for Armenia’s economy and population. “Officials present many legitimate and touching arguments to substantiate that claim,” writes the paper. “But all these justifications mean nothing for the public. If the people saw that officials too are becoming worse off because we are affected by ‘unfavorable external economic factors’ they might have agreed to tighten their belts further for one more year. But what the people see instead is that the more the economic situation in the country worsens the more luxurious limousines catering to the officials become.”
“Zhoghovurd” reports on the weekend parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan which were boycotted by the country’s main opposition parties and observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the European Union. “Given the unprecedentedly negative attitudes towards Azerbaijan that have emerged in the West in recent months, the struggle of the Azerbaijani opposition will only underscore the dictatorial character of [Ilham] Aliyev’s regime. And that could be a good opportunity for Armenia to show the international community that it is wrong to equate Armenia with Azerbaijan. But that primarily requires the Armenian authorities to display a political will and avoid falsifying the upcoming constitutional referendum.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reveals that more than 56,000 Armenian nationals participated in last year’s annual “Green Card Lottery” organized by the United States for potential immigrants from around the world. The paper considers the figure to be very high for a small country like Armenia.