Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s announcement that Georgia will not seek for EUR 75 million loan from the EU, conditioned on the court reform and commitment towards EU-brokered April 19 deal, was met with a strong criticism among the opposition parties.
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MP Khatia Dekanoidze of the United National Movement, the largest opposition party, said the Georgian Dream government’s decision means Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU may become under danger. She also suggested that the visa free regime with the EU may be revised against the background of Georgia veering towards Lukashenkoesque path.
For Georgia’s Levan Dolidze, political advisor to former PM Giorgi Gakharia, said politically the move will further damage EU-Georgia relations. From an economic point of view, he said, foreign investors will take a note on how Georgia treats its foreign partners. It is unfortunate that the GD government, unwilling to implement court reform, is ready to damage the country.
MP Mamuka Khazaradze, Lelo for Georgia leader slammed the government as “irresponsible,” adding that its refusal to fulfil political and financial accords with a major international partner means Bidzina Ivanishvili-led Georgian Dream is an openly pro-Russian force. “The treasonous [Georgian] Dream government of [Russian] occupier[s] shall be removed from the country governance,” Khazaradze said.
“Gharibashvili’s announcement is the main reason why [October 2 local election] is a decisive referendum – it is a crystal clear choice between the free world vs [Russia],” tweeted Batu Kutelia of Droa party. “Today, GD made it more evident that it no longer even attempts to disguise its motives and intentions for [Russian]-style authoritarianism,” he added.
The European Parliament and the Council adopted EUR 150 million loan package for Georgia in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020. The EU disbursed first EUR 75 million in November 2020. The 27-member bloc said after Georgia’s controversal Supreme Court appointments and the GD’s withdrawal from the April 19 deal that it would withhold second tranche unless these two issues were solved.