YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–President Robert Kocharian met with Armenian writers last Sunday. During the meeting the writers raised the issue of giving political assessment of the former authorities’ activities as well as those of state governance and government’s support of the spiritual sphere.
"Our writers are very politicized: during the meeting more time was spent on discussing the government’s policy–political situation–and assessmen’s than on problems of literature. Few of the speakers addressed the problem of getting Armenian literature out of this situation," Kocharian said in his concluding remarks. The president noted that the meeting could have been more fruitful if the writers had made more business offers.
As to the government’s protection of the spiritual sphere–Kocharian said that the government can render minimum assistance in this issue–which only will sustain the existence of literature in Armenia. The president believes that to resolve writers’ problems book-publishing should become a business in Armenia and find its markets outside the country. Kocharian noted that it is the only sphere wherein no serious proposals have been made up to now.
By supporting the press we can give writers the opportunity to have their materials published. The first step was taken last year: out of the 80 million drams allocated for the support of the press–10 million drams were assigned to the press for publishing literary works. The president said that it would be more correct to include literature in the expenditure pattern of the budget–as tax privileges can lead to abuses.
Kocharian supported the suggestion of establishing a literary prize in Armenia and noted that it will stir up competition in the literary field–without requiring much expenses. The president promised that funds will be allocated for such prizes from the Presidential Fund.