The messenger logo

Fire-affected vendors go on hunger strike

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, February 22
Three women out of more than 1000 vendors of the Children’s World trading center, whose properties were burnt during January 30 fire, went on a hunger strike on Tuesday, demanding compensation for their losses.

The protesters say that each day, three more vendors will join the hunger strike until their demands are met.

The commercial director of the Children's World trading centre, Giorgi Machavariani, met the traders and advised them to wait for the final results of investigation. However his proposal was rejected by the protesters.

“How we will be able to pay bank credits if we lost everything?” Julia Eliava, one of the protesters, stressed.

The vendors set up a tent at the ruins of Children’s World and are going to hold permanent protest rallies until the government keeps promise to mediate with the banks, in order to defer the financial liabilities of the affected vendors.

Zaza Khatiashvili, head of the Lawyer’s Association of Georgia, joined the protest and called on the authorities to help the vendors.

“The protest rallies will continue until the demands of these people, affected by a disaster, are met,” he stated.

Two weeks ago, the affected vendors addressed the Prime Minister, the Chief Prosecutor and the Public Defender, asking for timely calculation of their loss and to issue compensations. They also asked for effective investigation, to find out the real reason of the fire.

The premises a market and adjacent shops were burnt during the fire.

Around 30 fire brigades were trying to extinguish the fire for six hours.

Only the building was insured. Its owners will receive proper compensation. As they say the building was insured for 6 million GEL several months ago. However, the properties of the affected vendors were not insured, and so the traders suffered huge losses from the disaster.

The cause of the fire remains unknown. The police have launched an investigation under article 187 of the criminal code, which pertains to the destruction of another persons’ property, causing devastating results.