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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, May 21
Residents of Gurjaani block Bakurtsikhe-Tbilisi central highway

Interpressnews reports that the people affected by the recent hail in the villages of Gurjaani have blocked the central highway of Bakurtsikhe-Tbilisi for three hours. A journalist from Interpressnews reports that residents of Kolagi, Vejini, Bakurtsikhe and Kardenakhi accuse the Georgian government of ignoring their problems.

Those who were badly affected by last week’s heavy rain and hail say the damage has not yet been calculated and thus no one has received compensation.

However, head of the Gurjaani municipality, Johny Osiashvili, thinks it was the former ruling United National Movement (UNM) and in particular, Gurjaani deputy Giorgi Ghviniashvili, who has initiated the rally. Ghviniashvili who was also attending the protest action, denied these allegations and promised the locals to mediate with the central government.

He said on Tuesday he will meet with the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure and later that day inform Gurjaani residents about the outcome of their talk.

Kakheti governor Zurab Tchiaberashvili also came to the rally. He said the central government should by all means be engaged in the process and help people.

The patrol police that were mobilized around the site opened the highway so that the path is now open and no one received injuries.

Head of Agency of Protected Areas dismissed

Netgazeti reports that Giorgi Sonvadze, head of the Agency of Protected Areas of the Ministry of Environment Protection of Georgia, was dismissed based on internal audit results.

Minister Khatuna Gogaladze stated that the internal audit studied the activities of the Agency and revealed that several million laris were wasted.

“Information was released by the former head of the Agency of Protected Areas that the preconditions for his release were connected with the activities he had carried out in the terms of reconstructing the agency. However, we should emphasize that our ministry welcomes any type of reconstruction, development and improvement of infrastructure, although reconstruction cannot become the subject for approving the misspending of money,” reads the statement.

According to the Ministry, not only budgetary funding but also donor assistance was misspent. The details of the case were sent to the Prosecutor’s Office for further consideration.