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Compiled by Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, September 1
Kakha Kukava: Georgia’s economy in the hands of 5 families

The condition of Georgia’s economy has significantly deteriorated since Shevardnadze’s term in office, Kakha Kukava told newspaper Rezonansi. The opposition politician said it is “impossible” to run medium-size or big business without the government's sanction. “Currently Georgia’s economy is fully monopolised and is in the hands of five families,” Kukava said. “These are the families of Mikheil Saakashvili, Vano Merabishvili, Zurab Adeishvili, Davit Kezerashvili and Nika Gilauri. These are five families in Georgia, totally controlling the country’s economy,” the leader of the opposition Conservative Party commented.

Batumi Boulevard and a number of hotels in the town are controlled by the Interior Minister Vano Merabihvili, Kukava noted. He said that the tourist industry in Gudauri belongs to the Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili’s family. According to Kukava, Davit Kezerashvili controls imports, as well as the lottery companies. PM Nika Gilauri controls the banking sector, while President Saakashvili has shares in the railway sector, Beeline and other companies. The opposition politician told Rezonansi, “Many states worldwide have gone through this situation; however the former presidents were investigated and their assets later confiscated.”

Chinese school items stuck in customs

Lilo market vendors have complained about school accessories excise duty problems, newspaper 24 Saati writes. According to one trader, she has been trying for three weeks to get her goods, imported from China, passed by customs. “The goods are stuck at the customs terminal. We have already been waiting for them for three weeks now. If the imported goods are not passed by customs before September 10, it will be too late for us to sell the school accessories. Nobody will buy these things next year, so all the importers will experience losses,” she noted. To date there has been no comment regarding the issue from Finance Ministry officials.

Labour Party demands information on the Republican Hospital

Labourists have demanded official an explanation about the situation in the Republican Hospital in Tbilisi, 24 Saati reports. One of the Party leaders, Soso Shatberashvili said that for several months now tens of employees at the hospital have been kept in the dark about whether or not they will have to leave their jobs. In addition he said, “Some doctors are saying that their salaries are gradually decreasing. The doctors also told us that receiving patients in the old building of the hospital has stopped.” He added “This could be proof of information the Labour Party has that the building has been sold.” The Labour Party representative threatened that if President Saakashvili and his administration do not make an official statement about the situation regarding the Republican Hospital, the Party will start permanent protest rallies.