By Vache Sarkisian
In its analysis today, "Hayots Askharh" suggests that the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontline could evolve in the wrong direction, even if it is intended to divert the attention of the Azerbaijani society from the internal political struggle, to rally of the people around an external threat in order to insure the smooth transfer of power to President Heidar Aliev's son Ilham. Instability on the Armenian-Karabakh frontline could become a convenient pretext to deploy forces there. It is not coincidence that the instability is being provoked from the Southeastern sector of the frontline in the Azerbaijan territories bordering Iran which are controlled by Armenian forces. It creates an impression that Armenians and Azerbaijanis are unable to maintain the cease-fire regime on their own and thus there is a need for peacekeeping operations by a third party, "Hayots Askharh" writes. But the Azerbaijani president was well aware of how dangerous it is to play with this kind of fire and thus he was intentionally raising tensions to extract the maximum profit from political bargaining with Russia during Vladimir Putin's upcoming visit to Baku. The visit itself and the highest Russian award that Putin is going to give to Heidar Aliev could mean that Russia endorses the Aliev clan in the October presidential elections, "Hayots Askharh" comments.
The crime rate in Armenia is nowhere near the levels of that in Russia, Georgia or even in Latin America, "Hayots Ashkharh" writes. If the state takes extraordinary measures against crime, it could only provoke a new wave of criminality. There will always be officials in the law-enforcement agencies that will use the opportunity to profit from it.
Every time ArmenTel is criticized for not doing its job, the executives of this company start spreading the reports that the company is working at a financial loss in Armenia. The Greek parent company OTE also says that it will sell its share of ArmenTel. Commenting on the issue, "Haikakan Zhamanak" writes that ArmenTel has to look for the real cause of the financial losses among its managers who are working in Armenia for their own pockets rather than for the company's profitability.
Another high profile scandal concerning Argentine-Armenian tycoon Eduardo Eurnekian, who took over the management of Zvartnots airport, is receiving attention in the Armenian press. In its commentary today, "Azg" writes that the airport deal with Eurnekian could spell disaster for Armenia. The exclusive pricing rights he was granted are already having a negative impact. The prices of services at the airport have already shot-up, while the quality of service is sharply down, "Azg" comments. Ordinary passengers have to make real efforts to hide their frustration and disappointment at the airport. This time too the pessimists who didn't believe in another government venture proved to be right, "Azg" concludes.