Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has vowed to “lift the curtain on everything and tell everything to our people” if the EU decision on Georgia’s candidate status will be “unfair” and “offensive to our country and people.”
“[The Candidate] status is important, but we will wait until June 23-24 to understand the attitude that our true European friends actually have towards our people and country. We are a self-respecting nation, we are one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with an ancient culture and very cool, proud people.”
The Prime Ministers’ remarks came on June 11, as he was inspecting the construction of the new sports palace in Tbilisi. The journalists asked him regarding the prospects of getting EU candidacy in the light of the European Parliament’s recent, critical resolution on press freedom in Georgia.
Reiterating his earlier remarks, the Prime Minister said while EU candidate status is important, it is symbolic.
“This status is very good, but the main document, axis and guide [in EU-Georgia relations] is the Association Agreement, visa-free regime, free trade.”
He said he remains optimistic that “Europe will make a reasonable decision” which is in the interests of both Georgia and Europe, not one that would suit the interests of Russia.
Further, PM Garibashvili dismissed the resolution as “politically biased” and lambasted MEPs for showing “irresponsible and offensive [attitude] to our people, 80% of whom are in favor of joining Europe.” “This is outrageous because they have shown complete irresponsibility towards our country and its citizens.”
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“Such a resolution of the European Parliament is not crucial in this decision-making process [about the candidacy], and their role can be described as symbolic. The resolution [is] saturated with lies, inaccurate information, is offensive,” PM argued.
Calling the resolution “a spectacle,” Prime Minister Garibashvili argued “the external and internal enemies of the country are very agitated, as if something miracle is happening and the country is losing a miracle.”
PM Garibashvili also spoke in defense of ruling Georgian Dream founder and ex-PM, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose sanctioning was demanded by the European Parliament’s critical resolution over his “destructive role” in Georgian politics and alleged Kremlin ties.
“The team brought by the Bidzina Ivanishvili [to power] and his party during the last 9 years, have signed all the important strategic documents, which brought us closer to Europe,” he said, listing the Association Agreement, DCFTA as well as visa-free regime with the EU.