“Some regard the ‘European package’ [for former Soviet republics] initiated by 13 European Union member states as a new opportunity for Armenia in terms of continuing the process of European integration,” writes “168 Zham.” “It applies to all six countries involved in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program, including Armenia. But it is obvious that with this package the EU will primarily be trying to address the integration of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The Europeans make no secret of that.” The paper believes that Armenia’s inclusion on that list was therefore merely “symbolic or nominal.”
“Irates de facto” says the year 2014 is living up to earlier expectations that it will be “quite heated in the political sense” in Armenia. The paper claims that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) of Gagik Tsarukian is gradually emerging as the main opposition force capable of forcing President Serzh Sarkisian to change his government. “Other opposition forces -- the HAK, Dashnaktsutyun and Zharangutyun -- have found themselves in a fairly difficult position,” it says. Zharangutyun, it says, has squandered the support of about half a million voters received by its leader Raffi Hovannisian in the February 2013 presidential election.
“Hraparak” reports and comments on strikes that were announced by railway workers and opera singers on Monday in protest against the Armenian government’s controversial reform of the national pension system. “Even the patience of the most obedient people has limits and could run out one day,” writes the paper. “Those taking to the streets are well aware that they could be pressurized, fired or blacklisted, but fear is not a decisive factor anymore. If the interests of an opera singer and ordinary train conductor have started to converge and they are fighting, albeit separately, for the same goal, they could one day join forces and fight together.”