Ultimatum of traders and investors to Gori City Hall
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli
The removal of the agricultural market from the city center to the suburb of Gori caused protest of traders. After several warning rallies one part of traders occupied the square in the market territory and started commercial activities there. The traders opposed the new owner of the market - Jewish investor.
There are four major trading units in Gori and employees of three of them made ultimatum to the city hall and demand them to prohibit street trading or otherwise they would also return to the old market that is under deconstruction now.
Israel-Georgia Project Management requests the City Hall to prohibit street trading and deconstruction of counters from the territory of the former market. The Company is the new owner the old market area. The lawyer demands the local government to execute the requirements of the contract.
“We called on The City Hall, President, the Prime-Minister and the Parliament Speaker, but all in vain. The new owner of the market the Jewish investor has decided to give an interview to CNN and BBC that investment in Georgia is dangerous. At this stage, we asked the investor to refrain from using similar methods and look for other ways. It is fact that both previous and current governments breached the contract with the investor. During the United National Movement’s governance the investor was forced to purchase the area and arrange market there; according to the agreement the traders would have started trading in the new market. After the government changed a new contract was signed with the same conditions, but the city hall hinders implementation of the contract requirements and does not do anything to ban illegal trading. Construction of the new market cost several million. The trade centre meets all requirements but counters in it are empty,” the lawyer of the Israel-Georgia Project Management Gogi Guraspashvili said.
Traders from several shopping centers also met the city mayor, they also request prohibition of the street trading because of the limited customers inside the centers.
According to the City Mayor Zurab Jirkvelishvili, the territory of the old market is private property and he cannot regulate the trading there: "Outdoor trading is prohibited, so disobedient traders will be fined under the law."
The Jewish investor promises traders, who voluntarily entered the Guramishvili square, that in a few months he will allow them to trader inside the center without counter-fees. However, traders request permission to continue commercial activities in the territory of the old market but the investor is categorically against it.
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