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Fate of Batumi Technological University protested

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, January 13
A rally was held near the Technological University of Batumi yesterday, where students and opposition United National Movement (UNM) representatives protested against the sale of the university’s building. They call on the government not to sell the building. The demonstrators claim that the decision was made by Bidzina Ivanishvili,

“Sell your shark, Bidzina!” the protesters shouted.

The Ministry of Economy signed a memorandum of understanding with two investors - the starting price of the 35-story multifunctional building will be $25 million. The building was constructed under the United National Movement government.

The university is the tallest building in Batumi, the 35-story building should have received 200 students initially. The construction expenses were 40 million GEL.

“This step is directed not only against the American University, but it is a very serious message that private investment or international projects in the field of education can be closed down in Georgia because of political attitudes and motivation,” the UNM MP Sergo Ratiani said.

According to the Minister of Education Tamar Sanikidze, statements suggesting the university construction was financed through the Millennium Programme were incorrect.

“This was an idea put forth by the previous government that was rejected by the Millennium Fund as irrelevant and unprofitable,” Sanikidze said.

Head of Adjara Autonomous Republic Archil Khabadze said that such a huge building would have been useless for students. According to him the construction would be more suitable for business activities.