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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 13
Financial Amnesty to media companies

Liberali reports that according to the Finance Ministry, Imedi TV, Rustavi 2 and PIK TV wrote off 20 million GEL in tax debts after the October 1st Parliamentary elections. The decision over the tax agreement was signed by then Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili.

“Instead of loyal coverage during the years, the (former) government used to forgive their devoted media companies,” Transparency International Georgia’s report reads.

The resort says that in 2009-2012 when taxation was strictly controlled by the revenue service and in particular cases the companies had to pay extra money for avoiding the possible problems, hiding from the taxes was considered a crime for independent and successful companies.

However, the parliament announced the first tax amnesty in 2010 and 36 million GEL was written off the debt of the pro-governmental TV companies. TI says the repeated amnesties and selective tax policy encouraged the creation of a non-competitive market.

Liberali reports that the United National Movement (UNM) managed to announce a tax amnesty twice during their government bringing TV companies' totally tax breaks to 55.2 million GEL.

On August 20 and October 12, 2012 Rustavi 2 was released from 4.84 million GEL debts under the decision of former PM Merabishvili, while Imedi TV – with 13.8 million. The debts of PIK TV were also decreased.

Levan Berdzenishvili does not exclude the possibility for dismissing the government

In an interview with Rezonansi, Georgian Dream member Levan Berdzenishvili discouraged Friday’s violence in front of the National Library and added that the relevant state structures should ensure prevention from any violent developments. “It is the fault of our government that they could not eradicate the incident in time,” Berdzenishvili said, discouraging both the Georgian Dream and the United National Movement (UNM) from accusing one another with verbal assaults. Berdzenishvili said the entire confrontation was unacceptable.

“Even if the president would have delivered his speech from the Kutaisi Parliament, the developments would have been similar to what happened in Tbilisi. Changes in geographic location do not change the idea,” the Georgian Dream representative said.

Emphasizing some positive signals from the president’s speech Berdzenishvili finds the attempt of cohabitation feasible. “Cohabitation is not our choice, it is our goal,” he said, adding the two sides should listen to one another and fight for the country’s interests.

Commenting on the country’s foreign policy, Berdzenishvili said the country will follow the same direction and hoped a consensus can be reached with the Parliamentary minority.