“Zhoghovurd” accuses the Armenian authorities of scapegoating the media not controlled by them for the country’s grave problems. “By this logic, they can eliminate all the problems by shutting down media outlets,” writes the paper. “But the situation on the ground would not change as a result. The authorities would not become legitimate, there would be no rule of law and justice, corruption would not be eliminated, the economy would not grow, and the public debt would not decrease.”
“Zhamanak” reports that former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) held an exhibition and rally in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Tuesday to mark the 30th anniversary of the popular movement for Nagorno-Karabakh’s unification with Armenia. The paper notes the event attracted just a few hundred people, a far cry from huge crowds that packed the square 30 years ago. It says that even Ter-Petrosian did not attend the celebration. “The people were more saddened than cheered up by the gathering because everyone realized that the [HAK] action was only about history, not development and progress,” concludes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” is skeptical about official statistics suggesting that economic growth in Armenia, which hit around 7 percent in 2017, accelerated further in January. “Double-digit growth was registered in all sectors except agriculture,” reports the paper. “These figures are surprising in the sense that Armenia’s population continues to not feel [positive effects] of such growth.”
Lragir.am points out that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s cabinet has reported faster-than-anticipated economic growth and other positive macroeconomic data in the final weeks of Serzh Sarkisian’s presidency. “Almost everyone is convinced that Serzh Sarkisian will be nominated for the post of new prime minister while Karen Karapetian will become first deputy prime minister [in April] and that that position has been created for the latter,” writes the online publication. It wonders what official explanations will be given for Karapetian’s failure to retain his current post. “It is at least weird that Serzh Sarkisian is going to be nominated for the post in place of the overperforming prime minister,” it says. “What will be the explanation for that? There are probably two variants. Either [they will come up with] a very serious and weighty argument about national security … or Karen Karapetian himself must give up and state in April that although he has more than met all targets he thinks that this is not enough and more needs to be achieved.”