“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that while authorities do not raise any obstacles to the bid of Arayik Khandoyan, an arrested member of the Sasna Tsrer group that seized and held for two weeks a police station in Yerevan last month, to run for an elected office in his home community, it is the radical opposition Founding Parliament movement that categorically speaks against his move and urges Khandoyan to withdraw from the race. “Thus, the Founding Parliament puts psychological pressure on the person who is already in prison,” the paper comments.
“Zhoghovurd” suggests that Armenia managed to register a “record high” level of exports to Russia in the first quarter of 2016 largely due to the Russian embargo on the import of Turkish goods, including agricultural products. “But after the Russo-Turkish normalization and the removal of economic sanctions Turkish products will re-conquer their place in the Russian market within a short period of time and that, of course, will have its negative impact on the volumes of export from Armenia. The Armenian government cannot but take this into consideration and already now should start preparing certain explanations for the decline in exports expected in the coming months,” the paper writes, ironically.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on government plans to raise the level of permissible state debt in relation to the gross domestic product in the law on the 2017 state budget. “Currently, if the level of the internal state debt exceeds 50 percent of the GDP, the government must cut expenditures and the state budget deficit should not exceed 3 percent of the GDP. Our state debt is very close to this level and keeps rising. So, the government wants to raise the ceiling set by the law in order to be able to contract new debts. At present, our state debt already exceeds $5 billion and there are no prospects of a drastic economic betterment. So, the only way in which the government can keep its spending at the current level in conditions of budget revenues that do not grow is to alter the ceiling for borrowing set by the law,” the daily says.
The editor of “Aravot” shares his impressions of a recent tour of central Europe: “During a period of 10 days we visited Germany and Switzerland. We also spent several hours in Austria and France. Let me once again dismiss the grim picture painted about Europe mainly by Russian media with which, unfortunately, many are also fed in Armenia. We did not meet crowds of refugees, aggressive Asians and homosexuals kissing at every corner in the streets of Berlin, Potsdam, Munich, Nurnberg, Salzburg, Geneva, Montreux, Lausanne and Annecy. The predictions about the dawn of Europe that have repeatedly been made since the times of Ancient Rome are extremely exaggerated.”