Riot at Eka Kherkheulidze’s Auto Station
On December 21, the traders at Batumi auto station broke into the office of the director. Before that, the station administration demanded them to leave the trading spots. From January 1st of 2011 fifty-six lease-holders will have to leave the occupied trading spots in the territory of Batumi auto station.
The traders are afraid of getting unemployed. They requested meeting with the director to discuss this problem in details. However, nobody from the station administration wished to speak with them. Afterwards, the traders broke into the director’s room. They are afraid that after leaving the station, they will not have chance to get back and will remain unemployed.
“They did not give us any promises. The owners of another market place employ the traders who used to work in the area before. Where should we go now? We have loans at the bank,” said the lease-holders.
The administration explained the situation by the rehabilitation of the building. The traders offered the new director to rehabilitate the building eventually.
The ministry of finances and economics of Adjara Autonomous republic sold the territory and the building of the Batumi auto-station in 2006. Its current owners are Iasha Eligula and Kakha Kherkheulidze - brother of MP Eka Kherkheulidze.
Iasha Eligula commented on the incident later. He said they will start rehabilitation of the auto-station in European standards. When leasing out the trading spots in the rehabilitated building, they will give priorities to old traders. He does not exclude the possibility to increase tax tariffs in future.
Currently, there are 56 lease-holders and 600 employees in the building of the Batumi auto-station.
Maka Malakmadze, Adjara
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