(Saturday, July 20)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says the Armenian authorities once again demonstrated their contempt for the population with their decision to raise bus fares in Yerevan by 50 percent. “From the socioeconomic standpoint, raising the price of public transport by 50 percent is equivalent to raising the price of bread by 100 percent because the average Armenian family spends around 350 drams (80 U.S. cents) on bread and at least 600 drams on transport,” writes the pro-opposition paper.
“Azg” says the outcry against the bus fare increase is “incomprehensible” because “in fact the price has not become higher, it was always high.” The paper believes that most ordinary commuters will not join civic activists in protesting against the unpopular price rise because they did not protest similar measures in the past.
“Given the inflationary pressures that arose in various sectors of the economy as a result of the increased cost of energy resources, the increase in bus fares should have been delayed at least until the end of the year,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “As we know, a certain rise in pensions and salaries is planned for the beginning of next year. That would have allowed the government to somewhat alleviate the consequences of the price hikes.”
“Aravot” says the Armenian media is right to report on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s regular threats to restart the war for Nagorno-Karabakh and his claims that much of modern-day Armenia covers “historical Azerbaijani lands.” The paper argues that ordinary Armenian should know “the nonsense with which that man fills the brains of his people.” “His latest nonsense is a claim that there is panic in Armenia over new arms acquisitions by Azerbaijan,” it says in an editorial. “This is how Aliyev tries to explain complaints that are occasionally voiced in Armenia against the Russians … Wars are won not by weapons but the motivation to fight. The people of Azerbaijan are not motivated to attack us, and if the leadership of that country takes such a reckless step it will pay the consequences.”