Director of TV Pirveli Leaves Meeting with Finance Minister in Protest

Inga Grigolia, director of TV Pirveli, has left the meeting between the Finance Minister and TV companies.

As Grigolia told reporters, the Finance Minister had no answer to their questions and she is not going to listen to his demagogy.

“I left the meeting in protest because it was just a formal meeting between the Minister and the media, I couldn’t really sit down for that. The Minister, who was instructed to simply make this decision, instead of answering out questions of why he put us in such unfair conditions, told us a long and never-ending story of why Rustavi 2 was in debt and why Imedi was in debt. We told them that we did not care about it, we wanted answers of why he put us in such an unfair situation. For me, the meeting was very uninteresting. I’m not going to listen to the Minister’s demagogy, especially since he had no answers,” Grigolia said.

She noted that the finance director of TV Pirveli and director of Kavkasia TV Nino Jangirashvili remain at the meeting with the Finance Minister.

Representatives of TV companies, the accounts of which were collected yesterday, are meeting with Minister of Finance Ivane Machavariani to discuss the issue of collection of the company’s payments.

As Nino Jangirashvili, director of the Kavkasia TV told reporters before the meeting, the above is a political decision.

“What can it be called when Ivanishvili-owned television stations are not asked to pay off 55 million, while Nino Jangirashvili’s poor television’s payments were collected for the GEL 24 000 debt? What do you think it should be related to? Of course, it is related to political interests,” she said.  

The accounts of Rustavi 2, TV Pirveli and Caucasia have been collected.

The Ministry of Finance of Georgia released a statement earlier, warning the channels that have accumulated state debt to pay it off. 

“On August 14, 2019, the Minister of Finance, Ivane Machavariani, publicly addressed TV broadcasters about the tax debt accumulated over the years and called on them to submit proposals for debt restructuring and also to start paying off the current debts.

“The Revenue Service and the broadcasters are still continuing the process of negotiation over the debt restricting, as for the current tax liabilities, the channels have not covered their debt and thus, the Revenue Department has to take the measures according to the rules set by the Tax Code of Georgia.

“The Ministry of Finance recognizes that media outlets play an important role in democratic development and therefore the government took its interests into full consideration and the concession on the tax debt accumulated over the years and the ongoing negotiations over the debt restructuring prove it. The tax authority is not obliged to give public notice to the taxpayer about the measures provided by the Tax Code and this statement of the Ministry of Finance also means that the Ministry considers the interests of the TV broadcasters.

“At the same time, such a concession to media outlets creates a non-competitive environment.

“The state is obliged to protect the interests of all taxpayers and manage public finances, which means that the taxpayers’ money should be spent on each citizen, the state,” reads the statement of the Ministry of Finance which was released on Monday.

By Ana Dumbadze 

Related Story: Accounts of Rustavi 2, TV Pirveli and Caucasia Collected

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