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Court says cutting emergency fees from mobile accounts is unconstitutional

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 8
The Georgian Constitutional Court says that the decision made under the United National Movement leadership back in 2012, to cut emergency service fee from mobile accounts of citizens and companies is unconstitutional.

The fee for the fire-rescue and emergency-medical aid joint service is 0.20 GEL for individual telephone accounts, and 0.50 GEL for those held by organizations monthly [if the money used by a mobile number holder exceeds five GEL monthly].

Lawyer Level Alapishvili and the Georgian Lawyers’ Group addressed the court regarding the issue, saying that cutting the fee automatically, without any consent of mobile number holders, was a violation of the right of property.

The enforcement of the decision has been postponed until December 31, 2019, for not to create problems for the emergency service after losing the income.

The court gave the time to the Georgian parliament and government to find other ways for funding the service.

112 is a current emergency telephone number that can be dialed free of charge to call an ambulance, fire and rescue brigades and police in Georgia.

Calling the ambulance and their service is free of charge in Georgia, with hundreds of people using it around the country daily.

Only for those individuals who were on the list of the socially vulnerable were free from the fee.

In 2013, the income received by cutting the fee amounted to more than eight million GEL.

In 2017 the figure stood at 13 million GEL, the Georgian State Audit Office says.

A quite similar decision made under the United National Movement leadership was a joint paying of electricity, water, and cleaning services.

In case one refuses to pay water and cleaning fees, they will not receive electricity.