Hilton may abandon an idea of investing in Georgia.
We are talking about construction of a new hotel in the center of Tbilisi, which had to be completed in 2014, but so far has not even started.
A problem is that refugees from Abkhazia are still living in a former hotel Sakartvelo (Georgia). According to Hilton’s partner in Georgian, due to the unresolved issue, the brand representatives refused to come to Tbilisi in September.
“Refugees should move to alternative accommodation as quickly as possible. The government only promises. They said that the relocation would finish by the end of 2014, now the date was postponed to the end of 2015. If the issue is not resolved, Hilton will abandon an idea of investing in Georgia,”- said the brand’s official partner in Georgia businessman David Kodua.
In his words, on 10 January the Ministry for Displaced Persons officially promised to resettle refugees in 2015.
“We were verbally assured that in 2015 they would provide alternative accommodation for refugees. In the first stage it will be about 15 000 m2, then this figure would rose to 30 000 “- Kodua notes.
However, the Ministry said that nothing like this had been promised.
“In this building the refugees are legally living, space was given to them by the state, that is, they are not squatters. Accordingly, their eviction is not a priority for the government. In the first stage we provide housing to those refugees who do not have a roof over their head, who live in emergency rooms, and their resettlement is urgently needed. As for the refugees living in the former hotel Sakartvelo, their satisfaction with living area is the prerogative of investors. We take into account the interests of investors, but the resettlement of refugees in this category will happen in the next stage. The current legislation of the country clearly defines the powers of the ministry, and the eviction of refugees from premises occupied by them is not included in this list. The Office’s priority is to provide housing for refugees. Displaced people living in buildings that have the owner will be relocated only in the next phase of the program. Respectively, the issue of refugees living in this hotel will be considered later, “- the Ministry’s statement reads.
The dispute on this issue has been going on for several years, meanwhile, a period given by the Hilton management to local partners for administrative matters is nearly expired.