Saakashvili’s Danai gift24.04.2009 | 13:24
Nino Burjanadze, leader of the "Democratic movement - United Georgia" oppositional party is again in the center of a scandal. The tax administration has issued an almost one million dollar invoice to Nino Anzorovna for her country house in Tskhneti, which was presented to her last year by Saakashvili. Burdjanadze believes that the authorities are "trying to intimidate her and divert her from the oppositional activities" through tax officials. The opposition leaders are blaming Saakashvili for having sold out the whole country...
Another turn of confrontation between the authorities and Nino Burjanadze began on April, 23. According to "Rustavi-2" Broadcasting Company, Georgian tax office has fined Burjanadze for 925 thousand dollars, since Nino Anzorovna failed to file a tax return before April 1, 2009 and pay the appropriate amount of tax in time.
The leader of the "Democratic movement - United Georgia" party has got several days to contest the tax office's decision. Otherwise, the amount due will be increased by 0,07 per cent for each day in arrears. Should Nino Burjanadze refuse to pay the accrued tax amount, her property, a country house in Tskhneti, is likely to be attached and put up for sale according to the current legislation.
Nino Burjanadze herself has told the journalists that "they try to frighten her and distract from the oppositional activities by this issue". "The authorities are trying their best to divert me from the main point, but they are going to fail. This is an attempt of pressure, intimidation and I do not know what else, just an attempt to switch my attention to something else", - Nino Burjanadze stated stressing the fact that she has got "no time for such trifles at the moment".
However, "the country house question" will most probably remain unsettled, as well as the weapon scandal that preceded the many-days protest actions. Then, the authorities accused her supporters of illegal weapon purchasing. The scandal did not get any further, though the experts supposed that it would be followed by traditional accusations of preparing a coup and betraying the Motherland in favour of the Kremlin (following the events on November, 7, all the opposition leaders were called "the Kremlin agents" after the oppositional rally was broken up - I.P.).
One can hardly believe that Burjanadze's country house question is the topical question in the context of the situation, when the country is burning with fever due to political and economic crisis. Of course, it is up to Themis's servants to decide who is right. But, in this instance, the point is not in the fairness of the judges or their independence, as the oppositionists assert. It is most likely that the former henchman of Nino Azorovna, Mikhail Nikolaevitch, is in this way trying to get rid of the nervous tension he has accumulated owing to the protest actions. Just to break out the whole meeting in the Rustaveli Avenue would be destructive. So, why not remind the voters that the opposition is in fact no better than those currently ruling the country.
Why, the country house in question is not an ordinary one. It was given to Nino Anzorovna by Mikhail Nikolaevitch himself in 2008 as a memory gift on the occasion of his loyal associate's decision to quit politics. There seemed to be no open confrontation between Saakashvili and Burjanadze at that time. However, there is a widely-known version among the Georgians that not long before the political crisis in 2007 she received an attractive offer from Badri Patarkatsishvili, the late tycoon, who was the "opposition godfather". He was said to offer her assistance in "ascending to the throne". As they say, Burjanadze herself, her husband Badri Bitsadze (the then Head of the Border Police Department of MIA), Valeri Gelbakhiani, a member of parliament, and Patarkatsishvili were among "the plotters", who took part in consulting on the issue. Saakashvili very soon became aware of the situation and took all the necessary steps to eliminate the danger.
One way or another, Saakashvili having scored again after the crisis, Nino Burjanadze announced her resignation. She assured that she had no desire to be engaged in politics any further. Her parting with the President was also amicable. After that Saakashvili issued and edict of conveying an exclusive piece of land to Burjanadze for a token payment of 1 lari (that is equal to RUR 12-13 thnd.).
And now this gift seems to have stuck in her gizzard. Indeed, such act of Mikhail Saakashvili's hardly agrees with the Caucasian customs. However, it is generally known that the politics is ruled by cynics. As to Nino Anzorovna, she will have to put a brave face on a sorry business. To put it mildly, she is not very much welcome for her political past. Brought up in the family of a member of bureaucratic elite, the best disciple of the ex-president Eduard Shevardnadze and the daughter of the Georgian "rose revolution" received the title of a "steel lady" from Saakashvili himself. For her fortitude during the November events in 2007. She asked the current supporters' forgiveness for that on April, 9, the first day of the rallies.