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Telasi breaking the law, says Labour Party

By Sopo Datishvili
Wednesday, December 3
At a press conference held on December 2, Labour Party member Kakha Dzagania accused Joint Stock Company Telasi of the abrogation of a December 30, 2002 Constitutional Court decision which abolished the electricity tariff based on the size of accommodation occupied.

Dzagania said that the Constitutional Court granted the suit of the Labour Party to abolish the tariff but the company had tried to abrogate the decision several times. He said that in Lotkini district the residents don’t have individual meters and the company makes them pay according to the old tariff.

The spokesperson of Joint Stock Company Telasi, Valeri Pantsulaia, says that the Labour Party is trying to cheat people and panic them, though there is no reason for it. Pantsulaia told The Messenger that on December 30, 2002, the Constitutional Court made the decision that citizens had to pay for electricity tax under a new tariff and the company installed individual meters for its customers. The Constitutional Court did not have the power to write off arrears that had been accumulated before, mostly in the private sector, and therefore certain people still remain debtors of Telasi.

“Kakha Dzagania also mentioned that the residents of Lotkini are being forced to pay the old tariff, calculated by size of accommodation. This isn’t true. 100% of Lotkini residents pay according to the figures of their individual meter,” added Pantsulaia.

Pantsulaia also said that there were several cases in which the Labour Party had encouraged people to sue the company, but Telasi had won each case. Labour member Soso Shatberashvili explained that those individuals were only helped to make their own cases by the party’s juridical department, free of charge, and in some cases the court had found on behalf of the complainants.

“Telasi, like many other companies in Georgia, is a satellite of the Government. It financed Saakashvili during the elections and afterwards the President gave them carte blanche to act illegally and take money from common citizens. This is the same as taking bribes in an indirect way,” Shatberashvili added. The spokesperson of JSC Telasi denied these accusations and said that the company operates within the law. He adds that the tariff is established by the Energy Regulation Commission, and the Labourists are misleading people.