“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that instances of Azerbaijani troops opening fire at Armenian villages in the northeastern Tavush province have increased dramatically in recent weeks. The paper says Azerbaijan does realize that it cannot gain a strategic or even tactical military advantage over the Armenian side with such truce violations. The main purpose of the shooting, it claims, is to spread panic among Tavush residents and cause them to leave their homes. This poses a “new challenge” to the Armenian authorities. The Tavush villagers coming under Azerbaijani fire are awaiting a “clear answer” from Yerevan. “They want to know whether they will continue to live in their homes or that will be impossible in the years ahead,” concludes “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” pays tribute to the “heroism” of those villagers. “They not only stand up to Azerbaijani-Turkish gangs alongside our army but also live, work, do business, study, fall in love, marry, raise children and mark happy or sad occasions under a practically daily enemy fire,” writes the paper.
“Zhamanak” suggests that the 2008-2008 global financial crisis would not have hit Armenia so hard had the Armenian economy not been controlled by “a handful of clans” and had its business and politics not been closely intertwined. “The problem is that it is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of any economic policy in Armenia … as long as there are such systemic vices,” writes the paper. “This is why the economic crisis should have spurred systemic reforms.
“Zhoghovurd” reports on Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s recent claim that the Armenian government has trouble reviving Yerevan’s Nairit chemical plant because it has still not managed to determine who owns the troubled company. “They should not look for the owner, they should find out who has accumulated those [Nairit] debts,” Gagik Nersisian, a former Nairit director, is quoted as saying. “They are individuals, mostly former [plant] managers. The Energy Ministry is responsible for that. Also responsible are Gazprom and managers who paid themselves [monthly] wages of $15,000-$20,000.”