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Ivanishvili presents his NGO

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, February 5
Former Prime Minister and founder of the Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, held a presentation of his NGO Citizen on January 4 at the Radisson Blue Iveria Hotel. He stressed that the NGO will be focused on research and the training of the media, encouraging new analysts and new types of NGOs. The aim of the NGO will be to teach people how to hire a government and then control it. However, Ivanishvili emphasized that the major direction of the NGO will be the economic development of the country, and he will assist the process through the co-investment fund that was established when his was PM. He stated that the creation of a European level economy and jobs would require nearly 20 years.

“The NGO will work to make people think and fulfill their responsibilities. The media can fill a very important role in this direction. People should be given timely and impartial information. Through the involvement of local and foreign specialists, the Citizen will undertake regular research and encourage analysts to make their analyses about the situation in the country,” Ivanishvili stressed, noting that through the assistance of the Bank Cartu, some new NGOs will be created.

“They would be given symbolic financing, of up to GEL 50,000 each, for the initial projects. All the members of the organizations would be employed, qualified and professionals in their field. They would be financially independent,” Ivanishvili said.

On The Messenger question: why did he refrain from establishing a fund for already existing NGOs? Ivanishvili stated that he wanted something different, with a different financial background.

“I think that the categories of people who are employed have their own income and are professionals can elaborate really nice initiatives for public development. One such NGO will be established by a former Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili, who has really excellent initiatives in the legal field,” Ivanishvili said, adding that there are 7 members in the Citizen, including him and the group might increase up to 10.

“If we see that some of the NGOs operate well, we might create unification,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili also spoke on internal and external issues. He stated that nothing would disturb Georgia’s signing of the Association Agreement with EU.

Concerning the domestic issues, Ivanishvili stated that he is satisfied with the government he left behind. One he disliked was making emotional statements from current officials.

“However, the emotions are caused by the non-professional opposition,” Ivanishvili stated. Ivanishvili stressed that the United National Movement’s foreign lobbyists still disturb the current government. “It was even problem for us international search to be launched on former officials, who are being wanted by Georgian law-enforcers now,” Ivanishvili said.

He stated that in Georgia people think that the process of restoration of justice is slow, when in developed countries the process is taken as “fast”.

“It would be impossible for thousands of people to be punished. Certain part should be punished. It is irritating for public when former officials are making cynical statements and are free. However, people should take this process with humor, this might be an outcome, as detaining of thousands of individuals will not be profitable for the country,” Ivanishvili stated and admitted that the former officials are afraid of only torture.

“They know that the new government will not use the same methods as they did. That is why they are calm and free in their statements,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili stated that there is nothing alarming in inflation rate in Georgia. He stated that sometimes inflation is artificially caused in a country by a government for better stimulation of economy.

Minority UNM members Zurab Japaridze and Akaki Bobokhidze state that Ivanishvili is still involved in running the government. Non-parliament member Jondi Baghaturia stated that Ivanishvili’s assessment of the new government was far from reality. “The government acts non-professionally with lots of mistakes,” Baghaturia said.

Parliamentary majority members Zviad Dzidziguri and Eka Beselia state that Ivanishvili will play a positive role in the non-government sector as he did in politics.