Which of the listed don’t pay their gas bill in Yerevan?

1.    The poor
2.    The middle class
3.    The rich

The correct answer is 3 – the rich.  The gas bill collectors in Armenia go from home to home after the payment.  Knowing that my sister is a journalist, one collector complained to her that the prosecutors, judges and the “elite” in their neighborhood (people who have become super rich through corruption, bribes and direct thefts from national and local budgets) don’t pay one cent for their gas bill.  Whereas, the super rich use the most gas to heat their huge houses.

Is this why Armenia’s gas prices keep going?  Still wondering what would happen if the collection office cut their gas off?  If we still remember, one year ago Armenia’s cabinet minister of culture Hovik Hoveyan resigned after reports that he had “attacked and pistol-whipped electricity workers after a brief cut-off in power supplies to his apartment.”

Now, I can’t claim and don’t have evidence that all Armenian oligarchs and the several hundred thieves who own the most wealth in Armenia don’t pay the gas bill, but I am sure the bill collector made a reference to our direct neighbor, a prosecutor who built a huge house taking the site of Ararat from our eyes, and to the rest of our few super rich neighbors.

My sister feels so vulnerable that she expects every minute having their home taken from them of course without just compensation or consent.  One of our neighbors, who apparently doesn’t pay the bill and became relatives with Pres. Kocharian after they married off their children, has started a process of buying the entire neighborhood.  The poor people of the street are being forced to sell their homes – one of them the family of an 18-year-old boy who died in the war.  A cleansing of vulnerable socio-economic people takes place in downtown Yerevan and in other “desirable” areas.