In an interview with “Zhoghovurd,” Vartan Petrosian, a Paris-based Armenian actor, recounts his participation in anti-government demonstrations that were organized by opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian in the wake of the February 2013 presidential election. “I came over because I saw just how desperate people standing in Liberty Square were,” he says. “Things were different in previous times. There were almost no young people. People held their heads down. I looked and said, ‘Shame on us.’ … I came to tell them that they did the right thing. This was a mental, inner victory in the first instance. Every person scored a big inner victory over themselves.”
“Many thought that I entered politics,” continues Petrosian. “That’s not true. It just would not have been right if had come over and not walked on to the podium. I went up there and said, ‘Don’t be afraid. I’m proud of you. I’m proud of being Armenian.’” Petrosian adds that he subsequently returned to Paris because of becoming disappointed with Hovannisian’s opposition movement. “I thought that political forces will unite” he explains. “But that didn’t happen. I don’t want to condemn anyone for that now.”
“Hraparak” continues to lambaste the Yerevan municipality for introducing new parking rules that will dramatically increase fees paid by tens of thousands of car owners. The paper alleges that the authorities are resorting this and other unpopular measures because they are getting fewer foreign loans and grants and have nothing to privatize. “The business sector taxed by them has become narrower and more concentrated in the hands of people not subject to taxation,” it says.