In a commentary on International Children’s Day marked on June 1, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says that children in Armenia should first and foremost be protected against “social blows.” “Tens of thousands of children are poor, and this means that not only their present but also future is in danger,” writes the paper. “For malnutrition, poor living conditions and a lack of education and leisure opportunities deprive the children of their ability to develop their potential in full.”
“Zhoghovurd” reports that the newly appointed Justice Minister Davit Harutiunian on Thursday called for a stronger government oversight of government grants allocated to non-governmental organizations. In particular, Harutiunian said that from now on such NGOs will have to detail their concrete programs financed by the government and present detailed reports on their implementation. The paper says that Armenian governments have never done this before. “It is obvious that the authorities decided to introduce oversight mechanisms not willingly but under pressure from the European Union following the well-known scandal over misappropriation of [EU] grants,” it claims.
“Zhamanak” says that when President Serzh Sarkisian promised following last July’s Erebuni hostage crisis to form a government of “national accord” many felt that then Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s and his government’s days are numbered. “This is what eventually happened,” the paper says. “But the government formed by [the current Prime Minister] Karen Karapetian hasnothing to do with national accord in terms of both political content and agenda. One is left to presume that Sarkisian circulated the idea for another occasion and most probably for his personal use. The course of events shows that this is the case.” It notes that Armen Rustamian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), stated recently that his party will not object if Sarkisian becomes prime minister next year.