Armenian newspapers ponder the significance and consequences of 11 eleven years of independence, and, as usual, draw differing conclusions.
“Hayots Ashkhar” puts an optimistic spin on the dramatic developments of the past decade, editorializing: “We have found ways of persevering our war gains and at the same time solving seemingly intractable problems. We have proved that we can live as a united Eastern Armenia which exists de facto but has not yet been recognized de jure.” The country’s chief challenge is to bring the level of its economic development into conformity with its “military-political potential.” The paper believes that “correct economic policies” would allow Armenia to end its socioeconomic woes within the next four or five years.
“Golos Armenii” cautions that problems with the rule of law and rampant corruption are causing Armenian society to “erode from within.” So grave are those problems that they seriously threaten national security and must be addressed urgently. The paper concludes that any attempt to falsify the upcoming local and national elections would therefore be tantamount to high treason.
“Azg” says the main “masters of independence” are ordinary Armenians most of whom continue to silently bear the burden of enormous hardships and stay in their homeland. The paper says they are often ignored by their arrogant rulers.
“Or” says that only the rich have really benefited from independence. Despite a steady flow of upbeat government statistics the lot of the people has hardly improved in recent years. The government, which the paper says is mired in corruption, draw ups its “poverty reduction programs” solely for obtaining more loans from Western donors.
But as “Orran” writes, one should not “confuse independence with government, especially a failed government.” The paper says Armenians must not take out their anger and frustration with the current state of affairs on the very idea of independence. It is not to blame for their misery.
“Aravot,” meanwhile, makes the point that only former President Levon Ter-Petrosian can “break up Kocharian’s regime.” The paper thinks that Ter-Petrosian should team up with the People’s and Hanrapetutyun parties to run for president. “That would have the already known effect of the 1998 Miasnutyun bloc,” it concludes.