“A secure Armenia promised by Serzh Sarkisian has started taking shape,” “Zhoghovurd” writes sarcastically in a commentary on a 65 percent increase in the price of natural gas sought by the Armenian gas distribution network. The paper says that although the authorities will likely allow a slightly more modest price rise, Armenians should brace themselves for a series of other price hikes. “It is noteworthy that that was announced after the elections, at a time when no national elections will be held in the next four years,” it says. “The authorities waited until establishing a full monopoly on the political field to do whatever they want with the public.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the rise in the gas price will have “serious consequences” for the Armenian economy. “The economy’s competitiveness in the internal and external markets is already very low due to a number of factors. That will become even sadder in case of a drastic rise in the gas tariffs … It will also make many other goods and services more expensive.” The paper is worried about the socioeconomic impact of the higher cost of life “especially considering the fact that almost one-third of the population is poor.”
“Zhamanak” comments on Gagik Tsarukian’s remark that his Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is not an opposition. The paper suggests that Tsarukian set the record straight for “all those who were trying to make a whole society believe that the BHK is an opposition force and is about to launch a revolution.” “By skillfully exploiting the BHK factor the authorities have managed to first split up the opposition camp, distort approaches, principles and values that brought together many people … and then build new foundations of their absolute power upon that,” it says.
“The show is over,” “Hraparak” writes in an editorial on the same subject. The paper says that Tsarukian’s statement was at odds with anti-government statements made by various BHK figures during the recent election campaign in Yerevan. “How should BHK votes and boycotts in the National Assembly be understood?” it asks. “How to explain Tsarukian’s own critical speeches made in the not-so-distant past and his negotiations and attempts to join forces with opposition parties?”