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Ivanishvili meets regional media

By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, March 15
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili held a press conference with regional media representatives on March 14th. Among the topics discussed were agriculture, infrastructure, planned constitutional changes, development and the media’s future role.

According to Prime Minister Ivanishvili, realistic infrastructural projects begun by the previous government will continue but in a modified form.

Ivanishvili also mentioned planned constitutional changes. He said that if the United National Movement (UNM) rejects the changes "it will be their [the UNM] ultimate destruction in the eyes of Europe."

PM spoke about the defects of the existing constitution, which he described as "dictatorial law". Ivanishvili promised that constitutional changes will be adopted and President Saakashvili will not attempt to dissolve Parliament.

UNM and Georgian Dream members have already responded to the Prime Minister's comments about the proposed constitutional changes. United National Movement MP Akaki Minashvili said his party supports constructive collaboration. According to Minashvili agreement with the current government's plans will not be achieved using violence or intimidation.

Ivanishvili also spoke about changes in regional governance. He promised that reforming regional and municipal governments will begin soon.

The same day the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Davit Narmania said the system of regional governors will be replaced by stronger regional governments. Narmania said the strategy is wholly oriented towards the benefit of citizens.

Journalists attending the conference were interested in the Prime Minister's plans regarding Georgia’s relationship with its partner countries. Ivanishvili expressed his desire to visit the United States soon. The Prime Minister stated that the U.S. government still has questions regarding the current system of political cohabitation in Georgia, though the issue is not as acute as before.

Ivanishvili also spoke about improving relations with Russia and added that trade and cultural contacts have begun. Ivanishvili added that while it "irritates opponents" the process of normalization between Georgia and Russia has begun.

The Prime Minister also commented on the issue of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB). According to Ivanishvili, GPB should be for the benefit of all of Georgian society before adding his wish not to close any media outlet.