“Haykakan Zhamanak” describes as “weird” President Serzh Sarkisian’s emergency meeting with senior officials held on Wednesday in connection with the latest increases in key consumer prices in Armenia. The paper argues that as recently as one month Sarkisian insisted that consumer price inflation in Armenia is low and no cause for concern. It says he is worried about the opposition Yelk alliance’s decision to hold a demonstration in Yerevan on January 19 against the price hikes.
The rally, “Haykakan Zhamanak” goes on, will mark the “start of a whole new political process” in Armenia. “And it is impossible to predict what that process may lead to and how it will end,” it says.
“Zhamanak” says Sarkisian’s statements on the need to mitigate the impact of higher prices on the low-income population were “largely declarative.” “And his hints about state support for eliminating consequences [of higher prices] for socially vulnerable people are rather anti-economic than economic,” comments the paper. “The thing is that no matter how important subsidies and other social allocations are for the poor they are more likely to lead to waste rather than development. Especially in resource-poor economies like Armenia.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Tevan Poghosian, a political analyst and a former parliamentarian, comments on the most recent truce violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. “The more we provide our army with new equipment the more the enemy thinks of ways of countering it,” he says. “We strengthened the [Karabakh] border and [Azerbaijani] incursions stopped. But we are now again engaged in a war of snipers. It means that we need to think of new mechanisms and new steps … We have no right to stop. We must work hard every day to expand our military capabilities.”