“The government has just discovered that electricity is being stolen in Armenia,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes tartly ahead of Thursday’s weekly session of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s cabinet. The paper says that the government is due to approve measures designed to “keep track of the scale of stolen electricity.” “Strangely enough, there has been no such formula in Armenia to date,” it says.
“This is the best possible proof of the [opposition and media] claims that our energy system is being plundered at a state level. If the government admits that electricity theft has always existed on a huge scale then it will shatter [government] claims that increases in electricity prices in Armenia are totally substantiated. The tariff rises have definitely been unfounded. Unlike the government … tens of thousands of young people [who took to the streets of Yerevan in June] were well aware of this.”
“Government representatives complain that although campaigning for the [December 6] constitutional referendum has long started advocates of a ‘No’ vote are not willing to participate in public debates and other propaganda shows,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “This is a really serious blow to them … If [constitutional reform opponents] participated in that things would have been much smoother [for the government.]” The paper says that such a participation would have only legitimized the controversial constitutional changes sought by President Serzh Sarkisian.
Commenting on opposition speculation relating to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s latest visit to Armenia, “Aravot” says that just about every Armenian government has been accused by its opponents of planning to “surrender” Nagorno-Karabakh and the Sarkisian administration is no exception. “Any event can give rise to such allegations,” the paper writes in an editorial. “For example, the Russian foreign minister’s visit to Armenia or the constitutional changes. The Karabakh issue has no substantive connection with the constitution, possible changes in it or our domestic political struggle.” It’s just that various Armenian factions have been trying to exploit the issue for political purposes for more than two decades, says the paper. “The authorities say that ‘as long as the Karabakh conflict is unresolved don’t say anything bad about us,’ while the opposition says that ‘since the authorities want to surrender Karabakh they must go.’”