“Haykakan Zhamanak” questions the wisdom of a government bill offering tax breaks to foreign companies that would import at least 50 billion drams ($105 million) worth of goods and then re-export them to third countries. “It is not explained why the government wants to give massive privileges to entities that would engage in such transactions,” writes the paper. “This only deepens suspicions that the government is tailor-making the bill for a specific businessman who plans to carry out certain transactions using Armenian territory. And it is enacting these changes hastily and in blatant breach of legal procedures.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on a widely anticipated further increase in the prices of electricity in Armenia. The measure will be formally requested this month by Armenia’s Russian-owned national power utility. The paper speculates that the extent of the price rise will be decided during President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Moscow later this week. “Russian [energy] companies are slaughtering Armenia’s population with a blunt knife,” it claims. “This despite the fact that Armenia has joined the Eurasian Economic Union and is importing gas at internal Russian prices.”
“Hraparak” reports that parliament speaker Galust Sahakian has looked glum in his public appearances that followed his weekend meeting with a South Ossetian leader, which prompted angry protests from Georgia. The paper says a parliament deputy from the Orinats Yerkir party on Wednesday asked Sahakian for explanations about the incident and suggested that Armenian lawmakers hold a meeting with their Georgian counterparts in a bid to repair the damage caused to Georgian-Armenian relations. It says the speaker dismissed the proposal, saying that “nothing serious happened” as a result of his meeting.
“Zhoghovurd” says that Armenia has “unprofessional ambassadors” to some of the countries that did not send high-level delegations to the April 24 ceremonies in Yerevan to mark the centenary of the Armenian genocide. The paper points to the Armenian ambassadors to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
“Zhamanak” reports that Gagik Tsarukian, the former leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), is now busy promoting one of his protégé, Vahagn Gevorgian, in the ongoing mayoral race in Abovian, a town near Yerevan where he has long held sway. “The former BHK chairman certainly failed in his bid to become Armenia’s president,” the paper says. “But he now needs to succeed in installing someone as mayor so that the Armenian society can see Tsarukian’s might and omnipotence.”