Rustavi 2 director 'may resign'

1 June 2017
Solidarity rally at the office of Rustavi 2. Archive (Mari Nikuradze/OC Media)

Nika Gvaramia, General Director of Georgia’s most watched TV Channel Rustavi 2, says that he will resign if the company fails to solve its financial problems.

According to Gvaramia, he has began restructuring the TV company, but if he does not achieve positive results he will resign from his post as director.

‘Any responsible leader would do the same’, he said on 31 May.

‘It doesn’t matter what the reasons are, you should be able to pay to people. If we fail to fix the financial difficulties, how can I force people work for free?’ Gvaramia told On.ge.

He promised to try to solve the problems in the TV company by the end of summer. He plans to reduce staff and salaries and to optimise revenues and expenditures.

On 2 March 2017, Georgia’s Supreme Court handed ownership of Rustavi 2 to businessman Kibar Khalvashi, who owned the channel in 2004–2006. The decision was met with concern from local and international media and rights groups. Khalvashi is accused by supporters and employees of the channel as being a pawn of the current administration.

Lawyers for the company have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, who on 7 March indefinitely suspended the Supreme Court ruling until they review the case.

Gvaramia blames the station’s current financial predicament on the ongoing ownership dispute, as, he claims,  it has reduced their access to banking and financial services.

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