“Hayots Ashkhar” laments what it sees as a stagnation in the “development of democracy” in Armenia. “Bewildered citizens are looking around. Everything for which they used to fight seems to be in place: freedoms, rights, appropriate institutions. But life is not improving,” says the paper sympathetic to Armenia’s leadership. “The abyss between the people and the government is not overcome. The little person remains just as little, if not even littler.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian has replaced his Volkswagen limousine, acquired a year ago, with a brand new and slightly more luxurious one. “Of course, people could say, ‘What the hell is going on? The prosecutor changes cars once a year. Where does he get that much money from?’” But the paper claims mockingly to be preoccupied with a different question: “What will the prosecutor-general of the Republic of Armenia do if Volkswagen decides to stop manufacturing this car model? This might have a serious psychological effect on the Armenian prosecutor, and the fight against crime and especially corruption might collapse.”
“Aravot” reports that more than a dozen foreign companies have expressed a desire to buy the 90 percent share in ArmenTel from Greece’s OTE giant. The paper says all of them are “quite famous and represent various countries of the world.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” among those who have made a bid for ArmenTel is Amenia’s SIL group. The paper says it has joined forces with an unspecified American company for that purpose. SIL’s main owner, Khachatur Sukiasian, on Tuesday refused to refute or confirm the information, it adds.
“Azg” quotes Deputy Foreign Minister Gegham Gharibjanian as expressing concern about continuing racist killings of Armenians in Russia. Gharibjanian says the Armenian Foreign Ministry has officially conveyed its concerns to Moscow. “The problem is quite serious and officials at the Armenian embassy in Moscow are holding official meetings in connection with this issue.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” accentuates on the fact that Levon Chakhmakhchian, an ethnic Armenian member of the upper house of Russia’s parliament who was arrested this week on bribery charges, has close ties with President Robert Kocharian. The paper recalls Chakhmakhchian’s 2005 remark that he sees “no alternative” to Kocharian in Armenia. “Such incidents make one believe that the claims that Kocharian’s power is based on criminal elements are not unfounded at all,” comments the paper.
“Georgia’s stability and prosperity is a top priority for Armenia,” Yerevan’s ambassador in Tbilisi, Hrach Silvanian, tells “Azg.” “We must by all means support the Georgian leadership’s efforts at stabilizing the situation both in the country [as a whole] and Javakheti.”