(Saturday, December 26)
“168 Zham” believes that 2015 has not been a good year for most Armenians as “the socioeconomic situation in the country has deteriorated and is continuing to deteriorate,” forcing more people to leave the country. The paper says the out-migration is also driven by “a lack of justice” and uneven enforcement of laws by the Armenian authorities.
“We began and are now ending the year with alarm, while hoping that we will not meet 2016 the way we met 2015,” writes “Zhamanak.” The paper notes that 2015 saw a further rise in combat deaths in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone as well as Armenia’s formal accession to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
“Hraparak,” for his part, insists that there have also been positive developments in the past year. “We have to admit that our society has somewhat matured, has become more civil this year,” writes the paper. “Fear has decreased a little, while audacity has increased a little. Moments of disappointment have been interrupted by moments of euphoria and pride in our soldier heroes serving on the borders, our students winning international school Olympiads, our educated and bright young people who spent nights on Marshal Bagramian Avenue, our elderly people coping with all kinds of hardship, our men supporting their families by all means, and our women silently carrying their burdens. Unfortunately, we cannot say that our government has improved this year.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov as saying that his country cannot join the EEU because of the unresolved Karabakh conflict. The paper speculates that Azerbaijan thus again told Russia that it is ready to join the Russian-led bloc if Moscow helps it regain control over Karabakh. It says Baku must be aware that Armenia, just like any other EEU member state, can veto Azerbaijan’s membership in the EEU.
Citing data from the Armenian traffic police, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that the number of road accidents in Armenia rose by more than 7 percent year on year in January-November 2015. The paper says this fact makes nonsense of government claims that speed cameras and radars installed across the country in recent years have improved road safety.