The Georgian government has refused a 75 million euro loan from the European Union
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili On August 31, announced that the government had decided to refrain from taking a 75m-euro loan from the European Union, the acceptance of which depended on judicial reform and compliance with the terms of the April 19 agreement. The prime minister accused the opposition of sabotaging the country and said that the only goal of the opponents was to “somehow limit and hinder our country’s progress towards the West.”
A day before Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement, Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream, said that EU macro-financial assistance was not necessary, as the country’s “economical situation is different” and an additional “one billion GEL” was accumulated in the budget.
The decision of the government was sharply criticized by the opposition. The opposition believes that the EU did not plan to give this amount to Georgia, since the government appointed judges of the Supreme Court and the withdrawal of the Georgian Dream from the agreement facilitated by Charles Michel played a key role. Hence, the Government of Georgia refused to take more assets from the EU. Khatia Dekanoidze, one of the leaders of the United National Movement, said that the “suspension” of 75 million aid to Georgia poses a threat to the association agreement and that the restriction of visa-free travel may be on the agenda in the future. Mamuka Khazaradze, the leader of the Lelo, said that “refusing EU assistance is a complete irresponsibility.”
President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili on September 2, criticized the government for refusing the aid of the European Union, saying the decision was a “very incomprehensible step” for her and “a large part of the population.” According to her, the argument presented by the government as a counterweight to the loan of 75 million euros, that this decision serves to reduce foreign debt, “can not be explained.”
The refusal to provide EU assistance was criticized by six non-governmental organizations. The joint statement says that the refusal of the EU assistance is an open declaration of Georgia’s deviation from the Euro-Atlantic course.
The United National Movement joined the April 19 agreement
Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement on September 1, said that his party would join the EU-mediated agreement reached between the Georgian Dream and the opposition on April 19. The UNM chairman said that the Georgian Dream’s refusal to accept an EU loan, which was preceded by a request for judicial reform in Brussels and the April 19 agreement, was an open statement that the government had changed the country’s foreign policy vector and turned its back on the European path.
In order to overcome the political crisis in the country, as a result of direct mediation by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the Georgian Dream and part of the opposition parties signed an agreement on April 19. On July 28, the Georgian Dream unilaterally withdrew from the agreement, saying it had been annulled. The reason given for the withdrawal from the agreement by the ruling party was that the National Movement did not sign the document.
The decision of the main opposition party was positively assessed by international partners and other opposition parties, which signed the agreement on April 19.
Giorgi Gakharia will be the mayoral candidate of the party “For Georgia” in Tbilisi
Giorgi Gakharia, chairman of the party ” For Georgia” and former prime minister on September 1 ,nominated candidates for the Tbilisi Sakrebulo in the local self-government elections and a proportional list. Giorgi Gakharia himself will be the party’s mayoral candidate. “I was born and raised in Tbilisi, I am the blood and flesh of this city and I know much better what this city needs,” said the former prime minister.
After Giorgi Gakharia’s party announcement finished, the chairman of the ruling party, Irakli Kobakhidze, said that on the day of the presentation, Giorgi Gakharia met with Kakha Kaladze, the Georgian Dream Tbilisi mayoral candidate. According to him, Gakharia was ready to refuse to run in the Tbilisi mayoral election in exchange for financial support. Both sides confirmed the fact of the meeting, but Giorgi Gakharia and Kakha Kaladze also denied talking about finances.
“This is the former Prime Minister who resigned for Nikanor Melia, who has now been nominated as a mayoral candidate in order to somehow drag Melia (I will use a rough term) in the second round,” said Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream. In response to Kobakhidze, Nika Melia said: “Giorgi Gakharia’s participation in the elections does not change anything for me – I will win in the first round and it will be decided between Kaladze and Gakharia who will be in the second or third place.