“The most important thing is that no free, fair and democratic elections have been held in Armenia in the 21st century,” writes “Hayk.” “It is with this achievement that we are marking April 1, the international day of humor and fun. In other words, every day is April 1 in our country.”
“We should win with laughter as well. At some point this ludicrous notion took hold in our life as a variant of getting out of the difficult social, psychological, financial situation,” writes Lragir.am. “And that variant seems to have become a part of the state policy, with the authorities seemingly adopting of a tactic of raising spirits by making the society laugh.” The online journal says one such example is the way in which government officials are presenting the planned increases in pensions and poverty benefits which are meant to compensate the most vulnerable Armenians for the gas price hike effective from April 1.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the cost of air travel to and from Armenia will likely rise too. “Experts point out that the possible increase in the price of air tickets will be primarily conditioned by the extremely high cost of aircraft fuel,” explains the paper. In fact, it adds, the fuel price is probably higher than anywhere else in the world.
“Aravot” sees an intensifying debate between Armenia’s first, second and current presidents over “who, when and how wanted or wants to sell out Karabakh.” Each of them, says the paper, claims to have done a better of job of asserting Armenian interests in negotiations with Azerbaijan. “The topic is so good that it has been used for changing presidents in Armenia,” it says. “The political field, for its part, has split into three camps: a) those who want the third [president] to go and the first one to come back; b) those who want the third one to go and the second one to come back; c) those who want the third to stay on. The ideal solution would be for the current president to complete this term in office in 2013, after which all three men would jointly declare that they are quitting politics once and for all.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” comments on the opposition Zharangutyun party’s calls for a “dialogue” among Armenia’s six most important political forces. The pro-opposition daily says such a dialogue should bring together only three persons: Levon Ter-Petrosian, Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. “They, believe us, would represent the entire political spectrum,” it claims. “What is Zharangutyun to do with that?”