“Zhamanak” comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s meeting on Wednesday with the head of the European Union Delegation in Yerevan, Piotr Switalski, during which the latter expressed hope that Armenia and the EU will conclude this year negotiations on a new comprehensive agreement between them. The paper plays down the significance of that agreement, saying that it will not cover “pivotal” economic areas because of Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” quotes Sarkisian as telling Switalski that closer relations with the EU remain a major priority for Armenia. “It’s good that Piotr Switalski does not speak Armenian,” the pro-opposition paper comments scathingly. It says that such assurances should not be taken seriously because it was Sarkisian who scuttled the EU-Armenia Association Agreement at the last minute in September 2013. It claims that Sarkisian is only interested in continued economic assistance to Armenia provided by the EU.
“Everyone in Armenia is unprotected: high-ranking officials, businesspeople, politicians and, as it turned out, even the human rights ombudsman,” “Hraparak” writes in a commentary on Karen Andreasian’s unexpected resignation. The paper says that virtually all officials in Armenia can be easily and unjustly sacked and none of them would dare to challenge this state of affairs.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” is worried that scores of low-income Armenians may soon be unable to watch domestic TV channels after the country completes its transition to mandatory digital broadcasting. The paper argues that many of them cannot afford digital signal decoders that need to be installed in their TV sets.
“Aravot” criticizes the government for refusing to officially acknowledge that Armenia is grappling with a real epidemic of influenza and other acute respiratory infections. The paper says the authorities are presumably keen to prevent the spread of panic among the population. “What type of panic would occur in that case?” it asks. “Would people storm pharmacies and buy needless drugs? If the presently banned word ‘epidemic’ is uttered, the Ministry of Healthy will probably have to stop being relaxed and to take effective measures in various organizations to save people’s lives.”