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New cleaning tax angers Christian Democrats

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, June 24
The Christian-Democrats faction opposed Tbilisi City Hall's proposed increase on communal cleaning payment on June 23. Zaza Gabunia from Christian-Democrats faction worried of the increasing communal payment which would make people pay for cleaning according to their electricity expenses. “This is a decision which has no legal basis all around the world; there have been no such precedents anywhere,” Gabunia said worrying of the pressure on the ordinary consumers. According to the changes in law made by the Georgian Parliament at the end of 2010 the cleaning taxation couldn’t have exceeded GEL 3 per person and GEL 25 for a legal entity while under the new initiative of Tbilisi City Hall the expenses would be calculated by multiplying the units of used electricity by GEL 0.05.

Meeting with the locals of Isani-Samgori region Inga Grigolia Chairwoman of the faction faced some complications from the ruling United National Movement (UNM) activities at Bogdan-Khmelnitski Street who according to Grigolia threatened them to dismissal. “The group of UNM activists was acting like this to dismiss people. Stressing they were protecting the respect of the UNM, Isani-Samgori majoritarian deputy Khvicha Sanaia demanded that we left the terriroty. The UNM seems to have started the pre-election campaign by pressing the local people,” Grigolia stated.

Revealing the names of their “oppressors” at the special briefing, Grigolia spread the photos of Zurab Dzneladze, Valeri Mujishvili, Mamuka Razmadze and Paata Kopaleishvili who had been trying to obstruct CDM at Bogdan-Khmelnitski Street. Inviting Khvicha Sanaia to debate with her though TV Grigolia encouraged the interested TV stations to experience how Governmental officials talk on “the language of brotherhood.”

“They didn’t have masks, but they acted like riot police. They demanded that people immediately break up and said that the district belonged to Kvicha Sanaia and he was respected. Khvicha Sanaia is Isani-Samgori region deputy in City Assembly representing the National Movement. They threatened people to get going otherwise they would be forcefully dispersed. It seems that the National Movement has gotten involved in an election campaign, which looks more like terrorizing the population,” Grigolia said.

Recollecting President Mikheil Saakashvili’s claims that no street mentality exists in Georgia nowadays the City Council deputy wondered why the UNM “brotherhoods” have been threatening her team. According to Grigolia the incident ended only after the CDM phoned Sanaia and demanded dissolution of his “team”.

Giorgi Basharuli Deputy Chairman of Georgian Troupe also protested against the increase of communal payment in front of Tbilisi City Hall on Thursday. Calculating that the Georgian people spend at about 180 million kilowatts of electricity in summer Basharuli worried of the amount of money which the ordinary people would now be forced to pay in addition for cleaning.

Encouraging the officials to refrain from increasing the payment, Basharuli threatened to make a complaint about the “anti-social activities” of the Government. But Bacho Dolidze, press speaker of Tbilisi City Hall, said the cleaning taxation would be calculated with the new method and won’t deeply affect the people. As Dolidze claimed, the amount of communal payment on cleaning would even decrease for those who use electricity efficiently. “This new system would not only decrease the expenses but also control the exact number of registered people at individual apartments,” the press speaker stated.