“Yerkir” says the recent series of high-profile robberies in Yerevan highlights an increase in Armenia’s crime rate observed since 2009. That increase, it says, did not seem to worry the Armenian police and other security agencies until recently. “But it took several bandit attacks on the properties of former officials for the prosecutor-general to publicly express concern about the situation,” notes the paper. It wonders if the law-enforcement system would have “sobered up” had the victims of the robberies not been wealthy individuals.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” political expert Suren Zolian speaks out against renewed calls for Armenia to formally annul its normalization agreements with Turkey. “That process is already suspended,” he argues. “Why should we once again dig up? After all, let us not forget that those protocols were signed in the presence of the foreign ministers of the world’s three most influential countries. Why should we again put those people in an awkward situation and make things easier for the Turks? … If we do that, the Turks will get a very good opportunity to accuse the Armenian side of being not constructive.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at “obvious contradictions between the behavior of Armenia’s elite and the public’s expectations.” The paper says that the elite does not see “serious internal threats” emanating from the public’s “deep dissatisfaction with its plight.” “That is, the social-political stability is only superficial, not backed up by the sentiment of most citizens,” it says, adding that this is giving rise to more bureaucratic red tape. “The bureaucracy has turned into an independent economic force,” it says.
“Iravunk” criticizes a government-funded barbecue festival that will be held in the northern Armenian town of Akhtala on September 18. “It turns that this so-called festival is sponsored by the Armenian Ministry of Economy,” writes the paper. “It is difficult to even imagine a connection between barbecue and economy … This looks like a bitter mockery. While the majority of Armenia’s population is struggling to get by, people are playing barbecue festivals and spending millions [of drams] in state money.”
Just like other wealthy members of Armenia’s parliament, businessman Tigran Arzakantsian assures “Hraparak” that he respects Armenia’s laws and is not involved in any entrepreneurial activity. He says that he only has shares in companies. “All business is done by my directors, I can only be an owner,” claims Arzakantsian. “The constitution allows that.”