(Saturday, May 28)
“Zhoghovurd” carries an editorial dedicated to Republic Day, the 98th anniversary of the declaration of a short-lived independent Armenian republic which is marked in Armenia on May 28 as a public holiday. “There is no denying that had the First Republic, established at the cost of thousands of Armenian lives, not existed we would not have had our current independent state,” writes the paper. “Much has been said about the significance of the First Republic … This year the situation is different. We are marking May 28 in a totally new reality and under the burden new challenges brought by the four-day April war [in Nagorno-Karabakh] and internal and external problems requiring urgent solutions.”
“The value of May 28 must help us rapidly adapt our thinking to the present and determine the cost of the future for us,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Ninety-eight years ago our forefathers became heroes in [the battle of] Sardarapat so that we can keep our heads high and build a future, rather than keep that head in the sand of their heroism.”
“Serzh Sarkisian certainly made a mistake when he said that the 800 hectares of land lost by us [in Karabakh] had no strategic significance,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “They did have a tactical and even strategic importance. At least, this is what high-ranking military officials say. Secondly, he was wrong to say that we have 800,000 hectares of liberated land, meaning that we lost only 0.1 percent of what we had. Speaking with percentage points is no good.”
Citing data from the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that as of last December Armenia’s total foreign debt was equivalent to almost 41 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), up from about 20 percent in 2008. Accordingly, the paper says, government spending on debt servicing has also increased dramatically. It was equivalent to less than 3 percent of Armenian exports in 2008 and 12.5 percent in 2015.