“Zhoghovurd” is skeptical about a tough government fight against corruption that was promised Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian on Thursday. The paper says that Abrahamian’s statement cannot be taken seriously simply because he has long enriched himself and his family while holding state posts and is now one of the country’s wealthiest men. The same is true for President Serzh Sarkisian and other senior Armenian officials, it claims.
“There is every reason to think that this statement by the prime minister will not be put into practice,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper recalls that shortly after being appointed as prime minister two years ago, Abrahamian told Armenia’s leading businesspeople to stop evading taxes. Nothing changed as a result, it claims, adding that President Sarkisian has given more empty promises of this kind during his tenure.
“But there is now a factor which we cannot fail to take into account,” continues “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The situation has changed as a result of the April incidents [in Nagorno-Karabakh.] Everyone has realized that our economy is unable to adequately respond to the needs of our frontline troops and that strong borders require a strong economy. And this realization has created strong public demand for much greater efficiency of governance in the country.”
“Zhamanak” asserts, however, that Abrahamian’s statement was a mere publicity stunt that heralded the start of the ruling regime’s preparations for the next year’s parliamentary elections. The paper says Abrahamian and the likes of him are the reason why Armenia is facing such grave problems in the first place.
“Judging from the prime minister’s remarks, our government intends to once again implement a serious reform of its activities,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” The pro-presidential paper is not sure that “we are starting the process from the right end.” Armenia, it says, needs more profound changes than the ones which were mentioned by Abrahamian.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” hits out at Economy Minister Artsvik Minasian over his claim that he is not aware of a monopoly on sugar imports to Armenia that has long been enjoyed by a government-linked tycoon. The paper says many other, more influential government officials have acknowledged and even defended the existence of such a monopoly.