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Soon We Will Have To Pay for Death

13.07.2009
Tamar Khutsishvili

Legislative initiative of City Hall – Cemeteries will be taxed

Today, representatives of the Labor Party and non-governmental organization “Coalition for Our Rights” held protest demonstration in front of the Tbilisi City Hall. The demonstrators protested new legislative initiative of the Mayor Gigi Ugulava which intends to estimate tax of 20 GEL for one square meter of cemetery.

“In 2006, when Gigi Ugulava became the Mayor, he tried to introduce the draft-law on taxing the cemeteries. Our party did not allow him to do it and he stopped. Now he still wants to rob dead people and starts to implement his initiative from the Cemetery in Vera district of Tbilisi,” said Soso Shatberashvili from Labor Party.

Shatberashvili said the dead people also need protection from the government because many people cannot afford to pay the taxes. If people do not pay the tax, the cemeteries will be sold.

Demonstrators were astonished about the initiative. They say it is insulting and unacceptable for Orthodox Church.

Nana Sikharulidze, a participant of the demonstrators, said: “I am really astonished by the fact because retired people cannot pay the tax. Let them leave our dead people alone, we will take care of them; the government should not bother about cemeteries.”

Mother of Buta Robakidze (a young boy killed by policemen), Ia Metreveli also attended the demonstration: “The government has already breached all ethic norms. Now they have chosen dead people to earn money. I am particularly astonished by the phrase “Prestigious cemetery”; I cannot understand what it means; the society should not allow it.”

Press-center of the Tbilisi City Hall confirmed the information about the legislative initiative; however, they do not know when the initiative will turn into a draft-law.

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