“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Artak Shaboyan, the head of Armenia’s State Commission on the Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC), as claiming that there are currently no obstacles to engaging in business activities that have long been effectively monopolized by some wealthy entrepreneurs. “Anyone can import anything they want,” Shaboyan said on Tuesday. He insisted, in particular, that there are now many companies importing sugar to the country. The paper disputes that claim, saying that sugar has become more expensive in Armenia of late despite a drop in international sugar prices.
“Aravot” is critical of the Yerevan municipality’s plans to erect a statue of Aram Manukian, one of the founders of a short-lived independent Armenian republic in 1918-1920, in the city’s central Republic Square. The paper says that Armenia does not need a “new idol” to replace a statue of Vladimir Lenin that stood in the same location until 1991. “Of course, none of the existing statues should be torn down or dismantled, but one has to be very cautious about creating new ones,” it says in an editorial. “We must not rush put the statue of any mortal in Republic Square. Let a state mentality take root within our society. Only in that case should the society decide what kind of a symbol it needs.”
“Hraparak” reports that the Armenian parliament’s Audit Chamber has accused the Ministry of the Diaspora of wasting last year public funds on the publication of books that were never distributed to readers. “Why are those books printed if they do not serve their purpose?” the paper asks Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobian. “Since the book [in question] is very heavy we cannot send it by post,” she replies. “When people come by, we give copies to them.”