“Aravot” believes that real challenges facing Armenia are more serious than “Azerbaijani tanks and warplanes.” “Our state is jeopardized by the stupidity, short-sightedness and greed of our own government,” editorializes the paper. “If the import tax for cars is twice lower in your neighboring country, that means its government is twice as smart as your government. It doesn’t use tanks against you, it doesn’t threaten your life and acts in a way that corresponds with the modern era.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” tobacco and candy magnate Hrant Vartanian denies reports that he is moving his business assets from Armenia to Georgia. “Armenia is my homeland and not a business territory,” he says. “I’m not a foreigner or an importer to easily leave Armenia … We made investments in Georgia five years ago. We set up a cigarette factory there. There was no global economic crisis then. So nobody can force us to leave Armenia. Our factories will continue to work.”
Larisa Alaverdian, an opposition parliamentarian who served as Armenia’s first human rights defender, tells “Kapital” that the public should have a say on the choice of the next ombudsman. Alaverdian complains that possible candidates for the vacant post discussed by the Armenian press are little known to most Armenians. The institution of human rights ombudsman is “extremely important” for Armenia, she says.
Writing in “168 Zham,” Ruben Angaladian, a prominent intellectual, dismisses as “absolute nonsense” the idea of setting up a new parliament chamber where Diaspora Armenians would be able to hold seats. Angaladian argues that many of them have very scant knowledge of Armenia and problems facing it. “How can representatives of the [Armenian] communities in Uruguay, Australia, Syria, Russia, France or the USA and Canada understand the pressing problems of our state?” he asks. “What can they propose?”