“Haykakan Zhamanak” calls Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s one-year tenure a failure, saying that he has failed to make good on his promises to attract multimillion-dollar investments in the Armenian economy. “There will be no $850 million in foreign investment in Armenia this year,” writes the paper. “Is Karen Karapetian to blame for a drop in investments in the Armenian economy? He is and he is not. When he took over as prime minister our economy was already suffering from a lack of investments. The main reasons for falling investments are political. If most of an economy is controlled by monopolies and oligopolies, then such an economy is not attractive to investors.”
“Zhamanak” speculates that Russian-Armenian businesspeople are exploiting Armenia’s problems “for solving their problems with our country and the Russian authorities.” The paper points the finger at Ara Abrahamian, the chairman of the Union of Armenians of Russia, and Samvel Karapetian, a billionaire businessman close to the Armenian premier. “They both are promising to ‘score goals’ but only $40 million has been invested in Armenia so far this year,” it says, adding neither tycoon cares about the country’s socioeconomic woes.
“Zhoghovurd” reports that operational losses reported by Armenia’s Russian-owned gas distribution network continued to increase in the first half of this year year. “This is the highest rate of losses of the Gazprom Armenia operator in the last five years,” writes the paper. “Never before have losses in the gas distribution network have approached the 24 percent mark. This is certainly cause for concern given the fact that the financial burden of solving such problems is usually placed on ordinary citizens through higher tariffs.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” adds its voice to criticism of President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to give a medal for academic excellence to the teenage son of an Armenian town mayor charged with running over and killing a man with a car. “Serzh Sarkisian was probably not informed about details. Otherwise, he would have given that promising young man not only a medal but also a government post,” the paper says with sarcasm.