Margvelashvili refuses to move to residence built for Saakashvili

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Nov. 4, 2013, 11:20 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

President elect Giorgi Margvelashvili has refused to move to the luxury presidential palace built by President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi

The new Georgian authorities are undecided so far about the future of the luxury presidential palace built by President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi for over $200 million.

President elect Giorgi Margvelashvili has refused to move to it saying he will do with more modest living quarters in the building of the State Chancellery.

This will be his temporary residence until a 19th century building which used to house the U.S. embassy in Georgia is refurbished for him.

The refurbishing that will cost several dozen million U.S. dollars was launched under the previous administration. The building was meant as the residence of the future prime minister which Saakashvili was expected to become after his second presidential term.

Speaking to the press majority leader David Saganelidze said that the Technological University may move to the presidential palace built for Saakashvili.

He said that spending on refurbishing the future presidential residence in Tbilisi has been slashed.

"The refurbishing was launched by former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili. The spending from state coffers was expected to be enormous. About $1 million was supposed to be assigned for electronic locks to the doors to the building alone, some $300,000 for the air condition system. The new authorities gave up such extravagance in refurbishing the new presidential palace, of course," Saganelidze said.

He said that the staff of the presidential administration currently numbering 170 will also be reduced significantly.


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