(Saturday, July 3)
“Armenia’s constitution, whose anniversary we will be marking this Monday, has lasted for as many as nine years. Who would have believed this in 1995 when the constitution was being adopted through a referendum held simultaneously with parliamentary elections,” writes “Aravot.” The paper, sympathetic to Armenia’s previous leadership that enacted it, points out that Armenians rejected last year constitutional amendments drafted by President Robert Kocharian. “It is very likely that that happened that the public’s interest in the country’s basic law has long and irreversibly faded away. Throughout the nine-year existence of the constitution the people have become finally convinced that it is not the laws that are bad in our country but the fact that the laws are not respected and enforced.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Armenia is now paying dearly for the “violation” of its constitution by its own leaders. The paper says those “severe consequences” are felt in both the socioeconomic field and on the external front. There is also a resulting “moral decline.” “When a minister in a country with a 50 percent poverty rate rides in a 70, 90 or 100 thousand-dollar car, that is an essential indication of moral decline. Your moral brakes must be out of order when you to drive that car amidst people who can not even dream about buying such a car with their 10 or 20-year net income.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” is bewildered to see some of Armenia’s most advertised and hyped companies in a government list of business that claim to have operated at a loss last year. “Judging from that list, many in Armenia set up shop or launch a business for purely benevolent considerations,” the paper comments sarcastically.
“It is my belief that the Diaspora must not meddle in Armenia’s internal affairs,” Armenia’s ambassador to Bulgaria, Sevda Sevan, tells “Aravot.” Asked to comment on changes she has seen in Armenia over the last several years, Sevan, herself a Diaspora Armenian, says: “Of course, Yerevan has grown more luxurious, but many houses have emptied. Villages have also emptied. A part of the people has become awfully impoverished, while another, very small part has gotten rich in an awfully ugly manner. But when you see your country against the external backdrop I must say that Armenia is going up.” On balance, there has been positive change since the early 1990s, according to Sevan.
Arsen Avagian, Yerevan’s permanent representative to the Istanbul headquarters of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization, tells “Azg” that the current Turkish government is more sympathetic to Armenia than its predecessors. “Turkey’s position on relations with Armenia remains unchanged,” he says. “In that sense the government of [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is not different from its predecessors. The difference is that the prime minister’s party has stronger positions in Turkey and can solve some issues more easily in the National Assembly.”