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“Zhoghovurd” claims that the Armenian government wants to scrap a legal limit on the relative size of its debt because it needs new large-scale loans in order to save Armenia’s economic from “collapse.” The paper fears that increasing the country’s public debt burden further will be fraught with grave economic risks.

“The state propaganda machine is already busy boosting the approval ratings of the future prime minister, Serzh Sarkisian,” writes “Hraparak.” The paper points to what it calls a fraudulent opinion poll that have been conducted by a government-linked group recently. The poll found that Sarkisian’s approval ratings have risen while Prime Minister Karapetian’s have fallen in the past year. “They are naturally delighted with these results in the Republican Party (HHK),” comments the paper. “Especially the party’s youth wing whose leaders worship Serzh Sarkisian and can’t imagine their life without his existence.”

“Hraparak” also quotes a parliament deputy from the HHK, Mihran Hakobian, as denying any “rivalry” between Armenia’s president and prime minister. He says that no HHK figure would “compete” with Sarkisian because the latter is the party’s “undisputed leader elected and accepted by everyone.” “I don’t think that anyone in the HHK is now trying to or has chances to compete with the head of state,” he tells the paper.

“Zhamanak” reacts to Prime Minister Karapetian’s visit to the Defense Ministry in Yerevan this week during which he chaired a meeting of a government commission on armaments and familiarized himself with new weapons developed by the Armenian defense industry. The paper says that Karapetian went to the sprawling ministry headquarters in Yerevan shortly after those weapons were demonstrated late last month during military exercises held in Karabakh and watched by President Sarkisian. It wonders whether the premier tried to “keep up” with the president or Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian and underline his ambition to retain his post in April.

“For years and decades, our entire public discourse was based on national romanticism,” writes “Aravot.” “Starting from the kindergarten, the premise [of children’s upbringing] was a narrative about miserable, long-suffering but also proud and revengeful Armenians.That narrative played a major role in the 1960s and 1970s but is absolutely useless now that we have a more or less decent state with an army and all other attributes.” The paper goes on to make a case for “modernizing education” in Armenia and, in particular, getting rid of its “national-liberation” overtones. “The generation, or at least a part of it, has avoided that outdated upbringing,” it says.

(Elen Chilingarian)

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