“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on the continuing spat between Armenian government officials and European Union Ambassador Piotr Switalski that was triggered by his recent criticism of the authorities’ handling of the April 2 parliamentary elections. The paper claims Switalski implied at a news conference on Tuesday that the Yerevan-based ambassadors of EU member states have backed him in the dispute. “This is not reflecting positively on Armenia’s international reputation,” it says. It goes on to allege that the Armenian authorities may be considering declaring Switalski a persona no grata.
“Yerevan’s tough reaction to the EU ambassador’s statements results from Serzh Sarkisian’s problems as in response to the rejection of his government plans he is trying to give the impression that in that case he will not sign the agreement with the EU planned for this autumn,” speculates Lragir.am. It claims that if Sarkisian secures Russia’s support for his alleged plans to extend his rule Armenia’s relations with the EU will be dealt another serious blow.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on the ambitious socioeconomic development targets which the Armenian government has set in its new policy program submitted to the newly elected National Assembly. The paper seems to have doubts about the government’s ability to implement the action plan, saying that it has yet to see a “demonstration of a professional team.”
“Aravot” carries an editorial on chronic challenges facing impoverished farmers across Armenia. The paper singles out lingering problems with irrigation in the fruit-growing Ararat Valley south and west of Yerevan. “Other problems are not unsolvable either,” it says. “Our villagers need neither benevolence nor even low-interest loans because even if those loans are interest free they will still bring them no benefits under the existing infrastructure, structure of the market and especially monopolies.”