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Actors speak against ‘very low’ salaries

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, April 13
Georgian actors say that their already low salaries have been reduced. They disapprove of the policy of the Culture Ministry, and say the state should pay more attention to them.

“Who will protect our rights and what shall we do? The Ministry has an incorrect policy. Is it right that we have 400-500 GEL salaries?” actor Zurab Chikashvili said.

Rustaveli theater actress Nana Pachuashvili says that 143,000 GEL has been cut from the theatre budget. According to her, only Bidzina Ivanishvili, oligarch and former Prime Minister, helps actors financially.

“Bidzina Ivanishvili started helping us 30 years ago. We pay salaries to the young actors from his contributions. At our theater, very good actors only have 300 GEL salaries,” she added.

Actor Giorgi Kipshidze believes that actors should have salaries according to their experience.

“It is incorrect that everyone has the same low salaries. Actors are no longer honored in the country according to their experience,” he said.

Culture Minister Mikheil Giorgadze says that such problems might have emerged due to ineffective management and administration of the theatres.

Giorgadze explained that the decision of reducing the salaries of some actors was the individual decision of the theatre heads.

“I personally have questions about the budget planning and administration of the theatres. The issue of salaries was decided individually by the heads of the theatres,” the minister said.

Giorgadze also added that seeking alternative financing is the obligation of the theatre heads.

“It is a pity that the heads of theaters, with very few exceptions, are doing nothing to seek alternative sources of finances and are waiting for the state to increase their budget,” he said.

The minister claimed that the theatrical field is one of the top priorities of the culture ministry.

“The Ministry of Culture spends 33% of its budget on theatres…the budget of the ministry has increased by 20% since my appointment,” said Giorgadze.

The issue of the reduction of salaries was raised by an actress, Tamar Skhirtladze. She told the Reaction talk show that the salaries of prominent Georgian actors such as Leo Antadze, Tengiz Archvadze and Nodar Mgaloblishvili have been drastically reduced.