“Armenia’s economy is growing for a third consecutive day. A few days earlier our economy experienced a decline for a couple of days,” “168 Zham” writes, mocking the Central Bank’s assurances that the strengthening of the Armenian dram is the result of economic growth.
“Azg” reports that a meeting of shareholders in Greece’s OTE telecommunications giant will discuss on Friday plans to sell its 90 percent stake in Armenia’s ArmenTel operator.
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor-General’s Office as dismissing rumors about Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian’s impending dismissal. The official says the rumors are being spread by unnamed “individuals pursuing personal material goals.” They are “trying to present their dreams as reality,” she says.
“The Republican Party (HHK) is a truly strong political force and will have a weighty say in the upcoming political elections. Not only the parliamentary but also the presidential elections,” a senior member of the HHK’s parliament faction, Gagik Melikian, tells “Aravot.” Melikian confirms that the HHK leadership is considering forming an alliance with Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party. “A final decision will be made in the run-up to the  elections,” he says.
“Aravot” reports that Stepan Barseghian, the former governor of the Gegharkunik region who defected from Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir party, was appointed deputy minister for local-government by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian on Wednesday. Alvard Petrosian, a parliament deputy from the Dashnaktsutyun party, is quoted as branding Barseghian and other Orinats Yerkir defectors “traitors.” “A [young] generation which sees just how ordinary betraying and having no principles is can not live with high moral values,” she says.
“168 Zham” says Armenia may have more than 60 officially parties but its political landscape still has a serious lack of “ideological diversity.” “Setting up a party is becoming something like opening a shop,” moans the paper.
“Criminal gangs have a strict rule: If you want to be a full-fledged member of the team, you must plunder, smash and slaughter just like everyone else,” editorializes “Aravot.” “The government system in an underdeveloped state [like Armenia] is identical. It doesn’t matter which post you occupy. What matters is whether or nor you enter the team.”
“Racketeering is elevated to the state level in Armenia,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Racketeering has its budget with both revenue and expenditure parts. That budget is subject to full execution. Otherwise, our state officials won’t have the luxurious villas and cars, won’t be able to spend their holidays in the world’s most expensive resorts.” The paper says the revenues of this “budget” come from businessmen in the form of bribes paid to tax officials and other government inspectors.
Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the United States is exerting “some pressure” on Turkey over the planned Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi railway. “At the same time the USA considers resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as the key to settling other regional problems and is trying to step up the Minsk process,” says Kirakosian.