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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Price Increases Wrack Georgia

TBILISI -- Georgia has announced huge price rises for bread, gas and electricity to fulfil pledges made to the International Monetary Fund to free subsidized prices. Tbilisi residents reacted with horror to the news.


"This price rise only makes things worse when we are already half starving," said Oleg Dzha-matashvili, a railway engine driver.


A government announcement broadcast Thursday said that the price of bread would rise more than 280 times, gas more than five-fold and electricity about 11 times.


Users of Tbilisi's metro network would also have to pay 50 times more for a ticket.


"We have done this on the recommendation of the IMF," Deputy Economics Minister Otar Kakauridze said by telephone. "We are now moving into a new stage of our reform program and the transition to the market economy."