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Drivers Importing Wheat in Georgia Hold Protest Rallies

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 19
Georgian drivers who are importing wheat in Georgia with their vehicles are holding rallies in Tbilisi to make the Georgian Dream government reject its decision on the ban of wheat import with the road transport.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier this year that from September 15, 2018 wheat could be imported into Georgia only by train or sea transport.

However, “taking the requests of the wheat importers into account” the process was postponed until October 1.

Drivers who gathered in the Lilo district, in the outskirts of Tbilisi on Monday and Tuesday, say that the government will “leave them hungry “ if the decision is enforced.

They claim that this law creates serious financial problems and damages them.

They say there are about 3,000 drivers who import wheat.

The drivers are going to continue the rally if their demands are not met.

The parliamentary opposition believes that the “real ruler” of the Georgian Dream ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili, wants to give the wheat business to the companies or individuals which are affiliated with him.

The Georgian government imposed an initial ban on the import and export of wheat or wheat-rye by truck from/to Armenia.

The Ministry of Finance of Georgia says that the ban was imposed due to long lines of trucks at the border crossing with Russia.

The ministry claimed that the ban would not affect the economy, and would not trigger a rise in prices.