No one wants Burjanadze’s cottage
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 8The auction of Nino Burjanadze’s previously Government-owned country cottage, due to be held at the Tbilisi Tax Inspectorate yesterday, was postponed. Deputy Finance Minister Irakli Ghvaladze told TV stations that this had been done because no potential buyers had come forward. He said that the auction would now be held in two weeks’ time and the initial price of the property would likely be halved.
“The cottage was being offered for 11,494,249 GEL. If not sold, it will revert to State ownership, the price of the building will probably now be halved to under 6 million. If we have no buyers again, the property will not be presented a third time and will become the country’s property,” Ghvaladze said.
The cottage was sold to Burjanadze last year for the nominal price of 1 GEL. The former Parliament Speaker did not mention this property in her tax declaration, meaning that she has not paid tax on it. Finance Ministry experts evaluated it as being worth almost 12 million at market prices, and therefore the tax due and the fine for not paying it were high. Burjanadze appealed against the decision to demand more than 2.5 million GEL in fines from her but with no result. If she had paid this sum by October 7 the house would have been restored to her.
After the failed auction Burjanadze commented: “I think both journalists and our people have watched the BBC and seen it call Mikheil Saakashvili a dictator. I am not going to put up with a President of my country who is considered a dictator by foreign media sources. BBC journalists talked about the bias of the Georgian courts and the Government’s influence on them. I do not intend to deal with such a President or court,” stated Burjanadze.