By Jamila Babayeva
The Armenian oligarcy's pursuit of its own benefit continues to shock ordinary people who can hardly make both ends to meet.
Prime Minister Ovik Abramyan is himself an oligarch who is seeking his own interest without being concerned about people's deteriorating conditions under his government.
Abramyam recently promised to combat oligarchy emphasizing that he would start the fighting first with himself. But the promise turned out to be hollow. The former parliamentary speaker is running a gambling business, some vineyards, mines and filling stations, a knitted goods factory,a mechanical plant and a vacation house in Crimea, bought for $7 mln in 2007.
Local media found out that even the lifestyle of Abramyan's driver is similar to that of oligarch.
The driver, Grigor owns a huge restaurant complex and a wonderful garden with a zoo inside in Mkhchyan village.
"The restaurant is like an oasis in a desert with expensive kinds of trees. There are a lot of cells with a variety of animals and birds - bears, wolves, foxes, deer, reptiles, peacocks, eagles," media report said.
The report further noted that PM Abramyan usually holds his meetings at this restaurant.
"Here he often meets with his matchmaker, Head of Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan, who is one of the largest businessmen in the country," media report said.
Who knows which luxurious foods and drinks, PM Abramyan and his close circle test at this luxurious restaurant.
The villagers know well that the PM is the real owner of this luxurious restaurant, but prefer to name it as "Grigor's property".
Keeping animals is among the favorites of the Armenian oligarchs. A bear was found in the capital Yerevan's streets on May 26. It is now in the zoo, as the bear's owner has not shown up so far. Local media believe that this bear belongs to one of the oligarchs, who owns a restaurant near the street where the bear was found.
While PM and his relatives enjoy owning a personal zoo, capital Yerevan's zoo is still desperately after money to send its only elephant Grant to Georgia for treatment. The animal has been suffering from an illness over the past eight years.
The hobbies of the regime oligarchs are in direct contradiction with the reality on the ground in the county where one-third of people lives in poverty. The minimum salary in Armenia is 50,000 drams ($120), while the minimum consumer basket is 56,000 drams ($135). Ombudsman recently said that the minimum wage in Armenia is insufficient for a normal life. The expected increase of electricity tariffs will lead to the rise of other tariffs, which in turn will make life harder for poor Armenians.
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