by Alexandr Avanesov
I will do what I have to do no matter what and how much the opposition will say, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan said on Wednesday, when asked by opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan where some of the current top government officials have got their multi-million wealth from.
Pashinyan said that in 2013, when Speaker of the Parliament, Abrahamyan declared property of $5.5mln. "Current Finance Minister Gagik Khachatryan has $6.5mln, Head of the Government Staff David Harutyunyan has six apartments, two villas and land. If all of you are out of business, then, where have you go so much money from? But if you are in business, then, this is corruption," Pashinyan said, quoting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan as saying that business must be separate from government.
Abrahamyan parried that there is always a difference between those doing business and those just blabbing. "It is due to businessmen that you work and get wages here. So, let's respect what they do. As to me, I earned that money before becoming a government official. I did some farming business," Abrahamyan said.
"Then could you explain to ordinary farmers how you managed to earn so much while they keep sustaining losses," Pashinyan replied. "I have nothing against businessmen. I am against those using their offices for earning money. As regards, blabbing. My job is to speak – not blab – and to make known to the people what they in the government do," Pashinyan said.