Some Armenian newspapers are bewildered by the fact that the Armenian government is rushing to sign an accession treaty with the Russian-led Customs Union despite not agreeing yet key terms of its membership.
“Zhoghovurd” is worried that Armenia may pay a heavy economic price for that membership. The paper points to news reports that the government has cut by more than half a list of goods which it wants to be exempt from much higher import duties set by the Customs Union. Economy Minister Vahram Avanesian implied on Thursday there is no agreement yet even on this shortened list.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Armenia’s four leading opposition parties are unlikely launch a “final assault” on President Serzh Sarkisian after forcing him to sack the government. The paper points out that opposition leaders are reluctant to criticize Hovik Abrahamian’s appointment as prime minister. “They are now saying that they will formulate a position after Hovik Abrahamian’s government presents its program and takes concrete steps,” it says. “Don’t they know who Hovik Abrahamian is and what he has done in the last 22 years? And this is said by the people who have branded as ‘Serzh’s servants’ those who questioned the sincerity of the opposition status of [Gagik Tsarukian’s] BHK.”
“Aravot” believes that the BHK, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and the Orinats Yerkir party are right not to form a new governing coalition with President Sarkisian. The paper says a power-sharing deal makes sense only if none of the political forces has an absolute majority in parliament.
“Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Abrahamian promised government support for small and medium-sized businesses as he chaired his first cabinet meeting on Thursday. The paper says that such promises have also been given by Abrahamian’s predecessor Tigran Sarkisian and just about every other senior Armenian government official. “What has been happening in real life is just the opposite,” it says. “Only small and medium-sized businesses operating under the tutelage of senior officials or oligarchs feel protected.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says Abrahamian gave the promise after the government rejected a BHK proposal to cut various fines imposed on businesses operating in rural communities. “So they are not reducing fines in order for small and medium-sized enterprises to develop,” the paper comments mockingly.