Richest Georgian finds wealth is no political protection

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Cartu Bank Director Nodar Javakhishvili — himself a former central bank chief — said the move was an old-fashioned shakedown.

“There is no political money in our bank,” he said. “There is huge political pressure on all enterprises of Cartu Group.”

Meanwhile, thousands of Georgians have opened accounts at Cartu Bank in a sign that Mr. Ivanishvili has tapped into a vein of discontent.

One 30-year-old man in a dusty black leather jacket said he deposited less than $1 into a new account to show solidarity with the billionaire who, he said, gives him hope.

“I have no job, and it’s because of this government,” he said.

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