Following a meeting with the Business Association on 4 October, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke with journalists about the MPs who left the Georgian Dream party, the European Commission’s 12 recommendations, and the draft law prepared by GD on de-oligarchization.
PM on GD Departees
In response to a journalist’s question about whether he separates himself from the anti-Western letters published by the MPs who left the party, PM Garibashvili emphasized, “Of course, we are separated, they themselves separated from us […] We have differences with them, among them, regarding their positions and that is why we are separated.”
“We had a conversation within the team about these things and told them that we disagree with their position and made that clear. We told them that it was unacceptable to express their positions in this way,” the PM explained.
While on the subject, Prime Minister Garibashvili noted that Georgia is a small country with “a lot of challenges,” so “we need more strong partners and allies. We need very good, strong relations with everyone, especially with our main partners, the USA, [and] representatives of the European Union.”
The PM also highlighted, however, that Georgia is a democratic country, where the free space for a person to make their own decisions as they see fit should exist.
“This is how we understand democracy, we are a democratic society, we should promote pluralism as much as possible, the development of different ideas, ideologies, and in the end, the people should decide which ideology is acceptable,” he said.
Asked about GD chairperson Irakli Kobakhidze’s recent statement that the party has no values-based differences with those who left the party, PM Garibashvili said that “we should not distort the context” in which MP Kobakhidze was speaking. On that note, the PM explained that such values are “human rights, freedom, love of the country, and so on.”
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European Commission’s 12 Recommendations
On the subject of the European Commission’s recommendations for Georgia to attain EU candidate status, the PM said that the Georgian government is motivated to “implement all 12 recommendations as soon as possible.”
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“The day after tomorrow I will participate in a summit of EU leaders in Prague, where the heads of government and states of partner countries are invited, and I will have the same message there that we are actively involved in this process,” PM Garibashvili stressed.
The PM also called on all relevant groups to participate in the parliamentary reform working groups created by the Georgian Dream and underscored that “all doors are open to all opposition parties and now the most important thing is to ensure their involvement.”
Law on De-oligarchization
“We know of a lot of oligarchs and former or active politicians or businessmen inclined to oligarchy, and of course, we took the Ukrainian model, which is approved by the European Union, and we will adopt this law,” the PM denoted while discussing the law on de-oligarchization.
Regarding the opposition’s claims that Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili is the only oligarch of concern, PM Garibashvili underscored that the opposition cannot forgive Ivanishvili for the fact that “he ended the dictatorship, the oppression of the people, [and] the destruction of the country on October 1, 2012.”
According to the Prime Minister, the opposition will have to come to terms with the reality that all foreign and domestic achievements of the country are linked to the Georgian Dream, “be it the Association Agreement, the Visa-free regime, free trade, the now officially submitted application for EU membership and accepted European perspective, which we simply could not have dreamed of during the time of the United National Movement.”