08 December, 2011


‘Does the Mayor’s Office want me to be unemployed?’

Some time age in the Bukia’s garden, near the drinking water fountain there was a newspaper kiosk. The passers-by used to buy newspapers. There were customers who looked through the papers on the spot. They mostly were the pensioners, daily visitors of the Bukia’s garden. They indulged themselves with aunt Nunu’s, the kiosk-owner’s loyalty, leaned against its wall and discussion of the news would ensue. They all loved the hostess Nunu Labadze and

went to the garden as if they were paying her a visit.


Some time ago all this sank into oblivion. One morning, when the pensioners went to the garden there was no kiosk – the Mayor’s office had it removed. This place is on sale because it’s profitable. The Bukia-garden-goers were surprised because they knew that not long ago Nunu had legitimized the place and the kiosk as her private property. The architect’s office of Tbilisi city hall marked the place on cadastral map with red lines to certify that the place was legitimately submitted for use. She has the corresponding documents. All the taxes were duly paid – the land lease, property and income tax. She even paid more for the budget.

Now aunt Nunu is selling newspapers and magazines standing in the street. Previously she used to go to the distribution center to collect the stuff by seven o’clock but now she has to go there one hour earlier in order to have enough time to distribute the papers on the handmade stalls to start selling. She has a cancer disease and had her breast ablated. Still she isn’t going to give up and wants to earn her daily bread honestly; I’ll be able to do everything if only the laws are observed, she says. Her husband is infected with bone tuberculosis and her son needs emergency kidney transplantation.

Nunu Labadze: ‘My son is 28 years old, he as a doctor, unemployed. We had to solve the problem connected with the operation. What shall we do now? I don’t know. The kiosk affairs put everything upside down. I managed to earn GEL10-15 a day, my husband has minimum salary but still we managed to make the ends meet.

Everything I own is legitimate and the law, as far as I know, protects citizens of Georgia. Does the Mayor’s Office want me to be unemployed? Do you know how many people are in the same situation? If they want to enact the law, at lease let them do it, we aren’t against, we’ll pay but they don’t accept it. People like me can’t compete with those who want to install kiosks to sell foodstuffs and are ready to pay GEL 19000 a year for leasing. Selling of newspapers won’t make this much money. I’ve learnt this through years of my experience.

P.S. I spoke with people strolling in Bukia’s garden and unanimously all of them declared that they are ready ‘to save the oppressed, ordinary Labadze’.


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