“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the prices of petrol and liquefied natural gas used by many cars in Armenia went up considerably last week. The paper blames the price rises on a recent increase in excises taxes on fuel, alcohol and cigarettes mandated by Armenia’s new Tax Code. It predicts that they will push up the cost of other essential products in the country. “In theory, inflation in Armenia is not high,” it says, pointing to a year-on-year inflation rate of 2.2 percent registered by the National Statistical Service (NSS) in November. The NSS also reported a 5 percent year-on-year increase in food prices.
“Zhamanak” claims that the price hikes are “the price which Armenia’s citizens will pay” for faster economic growth. The paper sees a link between higher inflation and a nearly 7 percent growth rate recorded by the government in 2017. “Seven percent [growth] is considered a magical target which [President] Serzh Sarkisian set in late 2013,” it says.
“Aravot” carries an editorial on a traditional “post-holiday syndrome” in Armenia which follows weeklong celebrations of the New Year and Christmas. “Psychologists and sociologists invited to news conferences will certainly come up with more in-depth explanations and advise people to return to work slowly and gradually,” writes the paper. “They may be right in the professional sense. But in practice, it probably makes more sense to fully switch oneself off during the holidays and fully switch oneself on while returning to work.”