“Zhoghovurd” reports that an Armenian parliament committee discussed on Monday a government bill that would reduce the number of ministries in the country from 17 to 12. The paper notes that Armenia’s government was already downsized under former Prime Minister Karen Karapetian and that the resulting staff cuts not only did not spark protests but were also backed by many Armenians at the time. It complains that the new government’s plans to continue that process are meeting with hostile reaction from some media outlets and opposition forces.
“Aravot” believes that the staff cuts must be coupled with more efficient work of government agencies and greater competence of civil servants. “Audacious and non-populist steps are needed here,” editorializes the paper. It says that higher wages alone will not attract competent professions to the public sector. It says the latter would hate work for disrespectful, whimsical and unpredictable ministers or other senior government officials.
Lragir.am sees a growing “wave of sabotage” against Pashinian’s government. “Workers of enterprise whose profits are at risk are speaking out against layoffs,” writes the online publication. “In the last ten days this has been the case at three large enterprises: Spayka, the Ararat Tsement plant and Gazprom Armenia. In all three cases the factors of sabotage and blackmail are evident. The state is trying to play a regulatory role but the companies accustomed to old patterns of kickbacks and deals are failing to reach legal common ground with the government and are resorting to blackmail.”