Georgian Dream assesses storm damage
By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, July 31
The Georgian Dream political coalition has begun documenting the post-storm damage in Kakheti. The coalition’s spokeswoman Maia Panjikidze said at the briefing in Telavi that special teams would visit every family affected by the July 19 rainstorm to study the damage. After familiarizing themselves with the full picture of the post-storm situation in the three regions, the Georgian Dream will demand the full recovery of the damages from the government.
Panjikidze said that the coalition’s majoritarian candidates have been helping the population with post-storm clean-up activities and realized that the financial compensation the Georgian government plans to issue is “too little” for the families who have lost their property and land from the recent rainstorm. The state set the compensation amount that ranges from 300 GEL- 1,500 GEL, depending on the severity of the damage.
Panjikidze stressed that Georgian Dream leader Bidizna Ivanishvili has made an 80 million GEL transfer within the framework of the fine imposed by the court. This donation was masked as paying the fine, otherwise Ivanishvili would risk that his direct assistance would be construed as vote bribing.
The Georgian Dream’s spokesperson highlighted that after the money transfer the funds in the state budget will be enough to fully cover the damages. She added that the postponement of bank credits for a year is not an option for the farmers because the families may not have a harvest for 4-5 years and will be unable to cover their debts.
Tina Khidasheli, the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate in Sagarejo, in the Kakheti region, stressed that people should receive a refunded for their lost harvest in order to continue a normal life.
However, locals in the village of Shalauri discouraged the presence of the Georgian Dream in Kakheti. Local resident Neli Tchikvaidze told Khidasheli and her colleague Irakli Sesiashvili that President Mikheil Saakashvili has been doing everything to assist the people from the very first day of the rainstorm.
“We all understand that GEL 300-1,500 will not be enough even for several weeks,” Sesiashvili said, in attempt to discourage people from self-deception. He stressed that if people want to live in Saakashvili’s virtually “satisfied” Georgia where 90% of the population is afraid of talking about their problems and their damage, it would be hard to help the country and people will remain in a difficult situation as they are now in Shalauri.
When they finish documenting the damage in Kakheti, the Georgian Dream will move on to Samtskhe-Javakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti. In the meantime however, the government has sent volunteers to Kakheti. Davit Tsiklauri who introduced himself as a member of the youth wing of the ruling United National Movement (UNM) told Maestro TV that the volunteers have been employed by the government to describe the post-storm damage with the specially designed questionnaires describing the needs of each family before distribution of compensations from August 1.