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Mortgage holders hold protest

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, September 5
A rally was held by mortgage loan recipients in front of the Parliament building in Kutaisi. The protesters demanded long-term and low-percentage loans from the government. In the case of non-compliance of their requirements, demonstrators threatened to hold more rallies.

The head of the NGO, Georgian-Ossetian Relations Center, Amiran Kachmazov, who also participated in the rally, said suspension of the law that considered a 6 month moratorium on the enforcement on property, does not provide any guarantees. "We have no guarantees that we will be able to pay the debts in 6 month and that we will not be evicted from our houses,” he said.

Kachmazov said that if their demands are not met, people will go on strike, cause chaos and boycott elections.

Representative of the United National Movement (UNM), Giorgi Tevdoradze, asked Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to be generous and to help those people with long-term and low-percentage loans and to "give them a chance to start a new life” with his Qartu Bank.

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said the issue should be treated in a humane way. "I think nothing more can be done for now," stated Kvirikashvili.

The Minister of Finance of Georgia, Nodar Khaduri, stated that Georgian legislation forbids the Georgian government to give credits. "Good things cannot be done against the law,” he said, stressing that the Enforcement Office has power for postponing the deprivation of property for 6 month without any legislative changes. “The question is whether or not this time will be enough for solving problems that have existed for 20 years," stressed Khaduri.

Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has also responded to this issue. During his press conference on Wednesday he said that he has sympathy for those people, but he cannot help them by hurting the business. "This is a very painful issue, which cannot be solved in one day or one month. We are working on it and will do our best," stated Ivanishvili.