President Saakashvili meets Saburtalo district residents

Today President Mikheil Saakashvili with Tbilisi City Mayor Gigi Ugulava met Saburtalo district residents to discuss their problems. The President and the Mayor promised to provide them all the assistance.

President Saakashvili claimed that he is aware of all the problems that persist in the city because he had been working on those issues when he was chairman of Tbilisi City Council.

"I'm very well aware of your problems. The state of your yards, elevators, flats are very important for me. Lots of things have been done, but yet lots of things have to be done. In Tbilisi we have facilitated the establishment of condominiums that are aimed at solving the problems of each block and each yard in a democratic way. There are 2 000 condominiums all over Tbilisi and we plan to facilitate the establishment of similar ones in other major cities - Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi etc.," President Saakashvili said, adding that it was up to the condominiums to decide how their block and yard should look like and what has to be done.

"We assist them when it comes to the solution of problems. The Mayor's Office finances 70% of the work and the rest has to be financed by the dwellers of the locks. They determine what has to be done in their yards, whether they want sheds or playgrounds. It is up to them to decide. After a decision is made the Mayor's Office provides the assistance," the President said.

As to the issue of built-on loggias, the President said that they will be torn down from the blocks on the central streets and nothing could be done about that. "The problem is that built-on loggias, unlike flats, are not registered in the public registry. This circumstance causes problems when the flat is being sold. We call on everyone who has the similar problem to go to the Public Registry Agency and register their built-on loggias," the President said, stressing that several buildings in the city had been pulled down just because they were under the threat of collapse. "We gave flats to the proprietors of such flats in better areas. There were several buildings of this kind. No other buildings had been pulled down," the President said.

The President promised the pay rise to the chairpersons of the so called condominiums starting from January 1, stressing that the condominiums are key to solving the existing problems in the city.

At the meting he claimed that the establishment of condominiums was a step forward, adding that the establishment of similar institutions should contribute to the prompt and efficient solution of the problems.

The President also stated that the government was actively working on the demographic and employment issues. During the meeting he underscored that he was planning to promote the increase of the birth-rate and create a demographic fund.

As to the employment issue the President said that the government was actively working on that and starting from December 1, 100 000 people will be able to become involved in the employment program. "We will give people 200 lari per month and it is a three-month program. With this program we give a hope and a chance to those people who have lost every hope of getting a job," the President said.

During his meeting with the Saburtalo district residents the President said that in two years there won't be traffic jams in the city. "Gigi Ugulava has a two-year program that is aimed at solving the issue of traffic jams and relieving the traffic. For instance in Tokyo there is the five-layer traffic. When I lived there a street was in front of my window. We might use this model and change the traffic direction in Tbilisi," the President stated, adding that the number of cars in Tbilisi had doubled, thus movement had worsened two times.

"While we are talking about unemployment and poverty the number of cars in the city has doubled. Traffic jam is a serious problem. When Nino Burjanadze went to meet the President of Lithuania she got stuck in a traffic jam for 50 minutes. The issue of traffic jams is our problem and we are very well aware of it," the President claimed.

During his meeting the President said that the 11-lari aid that IDPs received will at least triple. "Of course this won't be enough for the IDPs but we are also working on providing them with other aids. I instructed Koba Subeliani to prepare a plan of assistance to the IDPs. The major aid will be returning the IDPs to Abkhazia," the President stated and offered one of the internally displaced girls to become involved in the employment program.

The President put a particular emphasis on the IDPs problems after an internally displaced girl asked him a question about aids: "Pensions, aids and salaries have increased, although the IDPs still receive 11-lari aid. We are unemployed. Shall we receive any kind of aid?," asked the girl.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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