“Zhamanak” reports that with its draft budget for next year the Armenian government has revealed plans to lay off more than 5,000 public sector employees. The paper is sure that none of them is a high-ranking official. “On one hand, this should have been a welcome development because it presupposes budgetary savings,” it says. “But this is the case only in theory because in practice budgetary savings in Armenia require totally different … legal-judicial steps.” The paper says that public funds are primarily misused and wasted by senior and mid-level bureaucrats, not the kind of people that will lose their jobs next year.
“Zhoghovurd” comments on the appointment of a former pro-government parliamentarian, Ruben Sadoyan, as Armenia’s new ambassador to Georgia. “This name certainly says nothing to the general public,” writes the paper. “It turns out that during the 10 long years of his parliamentary activity, from 2007 to 2017, Ruben Sadoyan did not utter a single word in the National Assembly … In other words, he only pressed [electronic voting] buttons there. And now Serzh Sarkisian is sending this guy to Georgia as ambassador to a country which is of strategic importance to Armenia. Serzh Sarkisian treats the posts of Armenia’s ambassadors abroad as gifts which he hands out in order to please one or another individual or to keep them employed.”
“This appointment is quite noteworthy,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper cites reports that Sadoyan was named after the Georgian government refused to accept Sarkisian’s previous pick of Armenian ambassador in Tbilisi, political analyst Sergey Minasian. It says that Sadoyan is a figure close to former Transport Minister Gagik Beglarian, who is said to have a “warm rapport” with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
“Aravot” scoffs at Armenian Apostolic Church clerics’ public condemnations of Halloween celebrations in Armenia increasingly popular with young people. “Is this the most important issue facing our society?” the paper asks, arguing that the church has never publicly denounced government corruption or other chronic abuses in the country. Instead, it says, they extol corrupt officials and tax-evading oligarchs that finance the construction of new churches.