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CDM Attacks Government over Range of Issues

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, September 14
The Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) accused the ruling United National Movement (UNM) of leading an “unequal struggle against the citizens”. Accusing the party of wasting money on their personal welfare, the CDM spoke of inadequate action from the UNM which, according to the party leader Giorgi Targamadze, is reflected in the level of unemployment in the country. According to statistics released by Targamadze, at the parliamentary session on Tuesday, 16,000 people were removed from jobs in the state sector in the first quarter of the year and had then been unable to find work in the private sector.

Remarking on the discouraging, ongoing processes in the agricultural sector, Targamadze also accused the Georgian government of leading agriculture in the wrong direction. “The rapid shrinking of the agricultural sector is the result of inadequate activities by the government,” the MP said, accusing the UNM of increasing taxes and grabbing revenues from entrepreneurs.

On Monday, September 12, the Parliamentary Agrarian Issues Committee visited Kakheti to become familiarized with the vintage 2011 preparations. The Minister of Agriculture, Bakur Kvezereli, attended the vintage activities in Bakurtsikhe village and promised to issue financial subsidies for the farmers. Kakheti governor Giorgi Gviniashvili also welcomed coordination between the eight local municipalities and expressed the readiness of Kakheti for a successful vintage.

On top of criticism over agriculture, the CDM also asked the government to increase the amount provided by social grants for people living in regions facing communal problems. Targamadze also expressed concern about the inaccessibility of education and medical services for families who can hardly afford everyday products. Giving the example of the closure of a public school in Telavi in the Kakheti region as one of the government’s failures, Targamadze spoke of the cultural and educational importance of the school for the region. The MP also criticized the allocation of funds arguing that the money spent on constructing a skating-rink in Batumi would have provided at least one store-house in Kakheti. But the ruling party MP Goka Gabashvili advised the CDM not to use the parliamentary platform for their pre-election campaign by focusing on the local problems in Telavi. This was a reference to the Telavi majority elections to be held on October 2.

At the parliamentary session that day, the CDM also demanded the implementation of legislative amendments on the security of strategic objects. As Giorgi Targamadze explained “the privatization of shares of strategically important objects in the Caucasus would create additional tension because this issue would pique the interest of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan at the same time.”

“There is only a verbal promise from the government that no strategically important state objects would fall into Russia’s hands via foreign stock exchanges,” Levan Vepkhvadze Deputy Parliamentary Chairman from the CDM said expressing concern about the lack of “retention mechanisms” and demanding the suspension of discussions until Prime Minister Nika Gilauri clarifies the issue.

As Gilauri had stated earlier this August, the new legislative amendments related to privatization procedures would attract big amounts of new capital to Georgia and encourage private companies to do the same by promoting the country’s economy and employing people.