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Saakashvili predicts era of destruction

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 20
According to the words of the president, Georgia should not act like Taliban and should not shame itself ashamed in front of the international community through the destruction of its modern, newly-constructions and buildings. The statement was made by Mikheil Saakashvili, during Dutch Architecture Day on December 19.

Saakashvili underscored that he had warned Georgian people before the parliamentary elections that “the brigade of destroyers” might have come to power.

“Unfortunately, my words came true and the people who are ruling the country currently will fulfill their promise concerning the destruction of our modern buildings that were constructed by us,” Saakashvili stated.

The president said that the country had had longs eras of destruction and small periods dedicated to re-construction.

“The last 8 years marked an era of construction,” Saakashvili emphasized.

President did not say so specifically, but presumably his criticism was aimed at a statement made by the Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili a day earlier.

The Prime Minister stated that he had a great desire to suspend those constructions ongoing in Rike– especially the amphitheatre construction.

“I want to tell to the president and the Tbilisi Mayor that when there are so many damaged houses in the capital, spending money on such projects are unacceptable…the construction process is still ongoing as the Mayor’s office and the President still has such levers. I think that the process should stop. However, we are not going to suspend them through the violation of the law,” Ivanishvili stated, adding that the new government will suspend building of the governmental cottages launched by the previous ruling administration.

The Prime Minister also underscored that the specialists and people should decide whether some buildings fit with the area's architecture or not.

“If they decide that some building damages the look of the city, such construction should be stopped. In general, I am going to start the building process of the country and very soon, the public will see it,” Ivanishvili stated.

Ivanishvili also highlighted that the president should answer for various issues.

“It happens nowhere that the President and officials have several residences and cottages… that they have several planes and helicopters and spend millions of dollars on such things,” The Prime Minister stated.

The Parliamentary minority believes that the government should be more focused on fulfilling its pre-election promises rather than the destruction of already or partially constructed buildings.

“There are lots of social-economic issues which need more attention than the carrying out of demolitions,” MP Goka Gabashvili said. The minority thinks that the coalition Georgian Dream cannot fulfill its promises and that is why they are shifting attention to some other issues.

In response, majority MP, Zakaria Kutsnashvili, reminded the former government of various demolitions carried out by them.

“They had undertaken many illegal demolitions. For example, various properties of physical entities were destroyed for the amphitheatre to be built on Rike,” Kutsnashvili said.

Georgian Patriarchate indirectly fixed its position concerning Rike project. During one of the services Patriarch Ilia II, declared:

“Our land is watered with saints’ blood. The bank of the Mtkvari river where there are strange sculptures and constructions now, is watered with our saints’ blood…we should have the cathedral of 100, 000 martyrs there,” Patriarch stated.

Greater part of architects thinks that the Rike project does not fit in Tbilisi architecture. However, there are those as well who considers that the project is not bad and society needs time to get used to the new shapes on the area.