(Saturday, October 22)
“Yerkir” complains that the media speculation about a rift between the Republican (HHK) and Prosperous Armenia (BHK) parties is distracting Armenians from real problems facing their country. The paper says this will make it harder for them to objectively judge political forces in next year’s parliamentary elections.
Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian denies any tensions between the two governing parties. “In our team and also in the BHK and the political field, there are many, many people who want to see some disagreements, differences or problems between the HHK and the BHK,” he says. “That is understandable because if the BHK and the Republicans separate, the importance of many undeserving persons will grow. Right now there is nothing serious.”
“Zhamanak” questions government plans to significantly raise tax revenues next year and says the issue is not attracting sufficient attention in Armenia. “In any other country, such an increase in tax revenues, especially in a post-crisis year, would lead to extremely intense discussions, particularly within the business community,” writes the paper.
“Hraparak” claims that Armenia’s government considers relations with Russia more important than the Georgian-Armenian relationship. “But frankly speaking, the Georgians themselves do not seem to be pursuing good-neighborly ties [with Armenia,]” the paper writes, citing disputes between the Armenian and Georgian churches and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s “tactless” remarks on a recent landslide in northern Armenia. “That is probably the reason why the president of our country readily travels to Moscow and unexpectedly cancels a visit to Tbilisi,” it says.
Commenting on the mass resignations of staff at the Metsamor nuclear power plant, “Aravot” says that “feudal principles” usually define the relationship between employers and employees in Armenia. “In many cases, that is a natural phenomenon,” editorializes the paper. “In the labor market supply exceeds demand. But there are cases where people have unique specialties and there are no human resources in a particular area. There are many irreplaceable specialists at the Armenian nuclear power plant and therefore the traditional Armenian approach of the plant’s director and the energy minister is not appropriate.”