What’s the cost of fighting for Armenia’s independence? Based on a payment to injured former presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikian for his “contribution to [Armenia’s] independence,” the Armenian government appears to have calculated it at precisely 20.5-million drams, or just under $50,000.
The gift, drawn from a reserve fund, allegedly is meant to pay for Hayrikian, a Soviet-era independence activist, to receive medical treatment in the Dutch city of Rotterdam for a gunshot wound to the shoulder he received during this year’s presidential campaign.
Purported health reasons aside, the lavish gesture has sparked widespread anger. The recognition of Hayrikian’s “contribution” amounts to more than 15 times the size of Armenia’s average annual salary of 134,400 drams, or about $3,200.
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