“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the controversial government initiative to essentially abolish remaining military draft deferments for university students in Armenia is raising “many questions.” “For instance, what will happen to those who dodge draft on bogus health grounds?” the paper asks. It says that the government bill in question “poses no threat to them” and that more draft dodgers will now turn to health authorities, rather than universities.
Hovannes Tokmajian, the rector of a state college in Nagorno-Karabakh, tells “Hraparak” that the bill contains “many positive things” and that “the idea of draft deferment has been fairly discredited” due to various corrupt practices. “At the same time, I’m really worried that after serving [in the armed forces] for two years many young men will not be able to continue their studies and that we could have a vacuum here,” he says.
“Zhoghovurd” questions Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s claim that nearly half of $850 million in investments in Armenia’s economy promised by him were carried out in the first eight months of this year. The paper argues that figures released by the National Statistical Service (NSS) show that foreign direct investment (FDI) in Armenia continued to decline in the first half of 2017. “And yet data published by the government indicated a very strong growth,” it says. “This discrepancy has been quickly explained: the government has used a totally different methodology to calculate its indicators.”
“Zhamanak” says that even Transport and Communications Minister Vahan Martirosian does not know whether an ambitious government project to refurbish Armenia’s key highways stretching from the Iranian to the Georgian borders can be completed in the foreseeable future. “He says that that the [North-South] road will be built but he too doesn’t know when,” writes the paper.
“Aravot” says that the Armenian community in the United States has been “spending huge resources and time” to get various U.S. states to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. “We are proudly saying that the 48th state (Indiana) has recognized the genocide,” editorializes the paper. “Another millions of dollars and another several years will be spent on [genocide recognition by] the 49th and 50th states, and in the process they will speculate about why the U.S. president has not uttered the word genocide.”