“Aravot” carries an editorial on what it calls a rise in prices of consumer goods observed in recent weeks. The paper dismisses government officials’ claims that the price hikes are the result of a continuing weakening of the Armenian currency, the dram. It argues that prices did not fall in the years leading up to the economic crisis that saw the dram appreciate dramatically. It agrees with those Armenians who blame the phenomenon on “our oligarchs’ greed and their unbridled penchant for super profits.”
“Paradoxically, the price hikes do not bother our opposition either,” continues “Aravot.” It suggests that for opposition parties like the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) the worsening socioeconomic plight of the population is “not a national issue and not comparable to the theme of our centuries-old enemy.” “The Armenian National Congress, for its part, would only say that until Serzh Sarkisian resigns cooking oil and flour will not become cheaper,” concludes the paper.
“The Armenian National Congress managed to bring the people to the streets but it failed to create a political society, clubs where it could form and develop political thought,” writes “Kapital.” “It failed to turn the Congress into a serious political institution and marginalized itself.” As a result, claims the business daily, the Armenian society has finally lost “faith in political forces” and “hope to change anything in its own country.” It says that by becoming increasingly “passive” the opposition alliance has also eliminated the only serious incentive for the Armenian authorities to carry out sweeping political and economic reforms.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” speculates that the authorities would not have obtained more than $1.5 billion in various foreign loans this year had they not “put the Armenian genocide and Karabakh up for sale.” “When the time to repay the debts comes we will not be asked whether or not the deal is acceptable to us,” says the pro-opposition daily.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakian dismisses as “unserious” Armenian opposition allegations that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan have already reached a secret agreement to resolve the Karabakh conflict. “They can not sign any agreement without asking the opinion of Karabakh and the Armenian people,” says David Babayan.
In an interview with “Azg,” Iran’s Ambassador to Armenia Seyed Ali Saghayan says the Armenian government should ensure that a third high-voltage power transmission line linking the two countries is constructed “within the shortest possible time.” Saghayan argues that the line is essential for continued supplies of Iranian natural gas to Armenia as the latter is to pay for those supplies with electricity generated by Iranian gas. The Armenian side, he says, “has not yet taken a serious step” in that direction.