(Saturday, June 17)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the annual economic growth target of 5 percent set by the Armenian government is not ambitious enough and will not lead to tangible betterment if the Armenian economy expands at such rates in the years ahead. “For developing economies a 5 percent growth rate is much more attainable than for developed economics,” writes the paper.It claims that the government is not really committed to ensuring Armenia’s rapid development.
“Hraparak” says that unlimited loyalty to the Ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and readiness to commit vote falsifications for the HHK are much more important criteria than competence in the choice of senior officials in the country. “But there is a line which must not be crossed even in a country like ours,” writes the paper. “When a state official obviously does not correspond to their position, when there is long-running discontent with them, when they illegally get rich and become impudent in front of our eyes and neglect Armenia’s citizens and their interests, they must go.”
“Aravot” believe that Armenian officials were wrong to react angrily to European Union Ambassador Piotr Switalski’s thinly veiled criticism of Armenia’s Central Election Commission (CEC). The paper argues that Switalski not only criticized but also praised the conduct of the recent elections held in the country. “Both Switalski and other Western diplomats have made similar statements in the past,” it says, adding that the Armenian Foreign Ministry did not protest against Switalski’s remarks.
“Politicians and government officials should on the contrary continue working with the European Union,” continues “Aravot.” “That can give us nothing but benefits. One of the benefits is a substantial decrease in electoral violations committed inside polling stations. What should be done to reduce administrative pressure and vote buying? That is a purely political problem. Switalski was right to point to that problem.”