“Aravot” reflects on “the continuing depreciation of the dollar and words in Armenia.” “At the end of the day, the people don’t care about financial-economic reasons why the government can not prevent a rise in prices and a decline in the population’s incomes,” it says. “The people are not convinced by assurances that this results from the worldwide fall in the dollar’s exchange rate. Our citizens simply want to understand how come in a country where economic growth, according to official data, makes up more than 10 percent every year the growth in prices is not commensurate with, say, the growth in salaries.” The prices of imported goods have risen in recent months. The paper says it should have been all the way around.
“Azg” accuses the Armenian authorities in this regard of “artificially” strengthening the dram and thereby “plundering citizens.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a new, pro-Western opposition alliance will be set up in Armenia in the coming days. “A large number of parties representing Armenia’s opposition camp have arrived at the conclusion that the cause of their failure to effect regime change is the absence of a political and ideological alternative,” writes the paper. It adds that the new alliance will stand for Armenia’s membership in the European Union and NATO, closer ties with the United States and putting its relationship with Russia “on an equal footing.” The bloc will comprise the political parties of Aram Sarkisian, Raffi Hovannisian and possibly Stepan Demirchian.
Demirchian is said to be dragging his feet over signing its founding declaration, according to “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “He is faced with a dilemma: either to retain the status of the leader of the defeated and crumbling Artarutyun alliance, or join, as an equal member, an alliance which has a chance achieving success.” Turning openly pro-Western is psychologically difficult for Demirchian who the paper says has “hereditary pro-Russian” orientation.
“Aravot” reports on a deepening rift within the once influential Yerkrapah Union of Nagorno-Karabakh war veterans. Several senior members of the organization affiliated with the opposition Hanrapetutyun party plan to boycott its upcoming conference. One of them, Albert Bazeyan, calls the conference a “farce.” Bazeyan’s view is shared by the heads of Yerkrapah’s chapters in Yerevan and Hrazdan. Nonetheless, the paper adds, Hanrapetutyun leader Aram Sarkisian will attend the gathering.
“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that the European Union will continue to use the issue of the 1915 Armenian genocide in dealings with Turkey despite failing to set its official recognition as a precondition for Ankara’s accession to the EU. The paper says Armenia also stands to gain from warming ties between Russia and Turkey. “The issue of the South Caucasus’s involvement in the deepening Russia-Turkey cooperation has increased Armenia’s economic value in the eyes of Russia.”