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USA Embassy saving Trialeti2011-03-04 20:11
Today morning, while watching TV, residents of the Georgian town of Gori could see that Trialeti channel was operating as usual, though the previous evening it suddenly interrupted broadcasting. It happened almost immediately after the speech of oppositional leader Nino Burjanadze in the Hot Line talk-show. The citizens of Stalin's motherland must know that they owe the work of the TV channel to the USA Embassy in Georgia. It is not the first time the embassy acts as a mediator between the journalists and the government.
Last night was rather eventful for the employees of a small regional TV channel - Trialeti. No one went to sleep. You bet: the previous evening the broadcasting was suddenly interrupted. By some chance, the channel was shut off almost immediately after the airing of the hottest projects - the Hot Line talk-show. This time, the guest of the program was Nino Burjanadze who revealed the truth about the apocalyptic state of the country the people of Gori live in, having exhausted the local authorities' patience. They decided that the citizens of the poor Georgian town did not need those "black tales" from Burjanadze. There was a telephone call from the mayor's office to the TV center demanding to shut off the transmitter providing Trialeti's broadcasting
over the town and the adjacent regions.
Here the authorities are free to do what they like. The TV center is a state institution, while locals "kings" may do anything they want with it. A formal pretext to shut off the channel was found at once: Trialeti's debt is seven thousand laris (about four thousand dollars) for three months of broadcasting. TV center officials quickly got in touch with the channel and informed about the interruption of broadcasting because of the debt.
The TV center had no legal right to do so, by the way. Trialeti signed a lease agreement but the TV center officials had no right to touch the company's equipment.
One of the channel co-owners Badri Nanetashvili admitted in an interview to GeorgiaTimes that the debt was real and the channel was facing serious financial difficulties. However, material problems emerged not because the company management was unable to earn money but through the fault of governmental structures. They scared away all the advertisers. As Nanetashvili told the periodical, local authorities "persuaded" the businessmen not to run any commercials on Trialeti.
However, in the journalists' opinion, Gori governors are just the executors of an order against Trialeti. Their actions are coordinated by central authorities in Tbilisi.