(Saturday, June 10)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on what it sees as widespread violations of traffic and parking rules in and outside Yerevan by the owners of cars carrying Russian license plates. “All you have to do to realize that is to walk around Yerevan’s center in evening hours and see how such cars are parked on second lanes and violate all possible traffic rules,” writes the paper. It also carries photographs of several such cars parked at unauthorized locations near Yerevan’s Zvartnots international airport.
Speaking to “168 Zham,” Naira Zohrabian, a senior representative of Gagik Tsarukian’s political alliance, notes with satisfaction that the alliance and the opposition Yelk bloc will have some say in the upcoming formation of a new anti-corruption body. She argues that the government and the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) were initially not willing to make any concessions to the parliamentary opposition when they first submitted a corresponding bill to the parliament. “Of course this is not enough, but this is the minimum that we could get today,” says Zohrabian.
“One gets the impression that the authorities have suddenly woken up and discovered that there is corruption in the country,” writes “Hraparak.” “Some evade taxes, others abuse their positions or carry out illegal imports, and the authorities horrified by that are hastily trying to enforce the law in the country.” The paper downplays recent prosecutions on corruption charges of several judges and prosecutors, saying that they are not high-ranking enough. It says that if the authorities were really committed to combatting corruption they would have sacked the mayor of the Armenian town of Hrazdan whose underage son ran over and killed a pedestrian while driving a local government car last week.
“An escalation is not a war,” Sergey Markedonov, a Russian political analyst, tells “Aravot,” commenting on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “There have always been and there will be escalations when, for example the [OSCE Minsk Group] co-chairs visit the region or when there are important negotiations. War, on the other hand, presupposes serious military-political changes, serious casualties.”