(Saturday, August 23)
“Hraparak” anticipates changes in the Armenian government, pointing to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s “unconcealed anger” with some members of his cabinet which showed at its last meeting held on Thursday. Citing unnamed government sources, the paper says Abrahamian’s anger stems from a meeting with entrepreneurs during which he heard complaints that some ministries do not help export their goods. It says Abrahamian responded by ordering an inquiry into the work of the Economy Ministry and other agencies. He also plans to sack a number of deputy ministers and other senior officials, it claims.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Tevan Poghosian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, comments on Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s official visit to Armenia. Poghosian considers its results by and large “positive.” He also does not exclude renewed “meaningful discussions” on the reopening of a railway connecting Russia to the South Caucasus through Abkhazia.
“Iravunk” looks at implications of the trilateral meeting of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish defense ministers that was held in Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave on August 19. They agreed, among other things, to hold joint military exercises. Davit Harutiunian, the chief of the Armenian government staff, is quoted as saying that Abrahamian did not discuss the matter with his Georgian counterpart “in open session” in Yerevan. “You know, security is the kind of sphere where you must always have room for concern even if there is no reason for concern,” says Harutiunian. “I think that this is an issue that requires discussion not so much by the prime ministers as security officials.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” is worried about some experts’ warnings that alcohol consumption in Armenia is on the rise. “Although Armenia is not regarded as a ‘heavily drinking’ country, there is already cause for concern,” writes the paper. Socioeconomic hardship is one reason for that, it says.