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Prime Minister’s offer to Abkhazians

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 28
Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili presented a report summarizing his government’s two-year's work on October 27. During his speech the PM made a special offer to the Abkhazian people, suggesting them autonomy within a strong and European Georgia.

Gharinashvili stressed that Abkhazia is a part of Georgia and neither the Abkhazian people nor Georgians would be happy without each other. He appealed to Abkhazians to pay attention to the current government’s positive attitude towards them and to take positive steps for their future advancement.

The PM claimed that the current developments in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are a product of the National Movement’s unbalanced and irrational anti-national policy.

“Owing to this reckless policy, 20 percent of Georgia is occupied today, and the Russians have installed those cursed barbed wire fences along our borders. The Russians have also taken over the Kodori Gorge, a place we have protected for years,” Gharibashvili said.

Gharibashvili stressed that the current government inherited an extremely poor legacy from the previous regime, but the Georgian Dream government has managed to undertake vital reforms.

“We have achieved success in all fields. The major achievements are related to the fields of healthcare, media and courts,” Gharibashvili said, adding that due to the lack of fear among the public and the totally improved situation in the healthcare system, for the first time during the last 20 years the mortality rate in Georgia has declined. Gharibashvili stated that 1 billion GEL was allocated for the healthcare system and the state budget issued the money on the expense of sensible management.

However, the PM stated that TV channels don’t cover a lot of achievements of the government, since they are unhappy with this success.

When it came to the courts and other law-enforcement bodies, Gharibashvili stated that unlike the previous government, the courts are free from the government’s interference. He admitted that the new government also eliminated the punitive organizations of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and now the police do not operate in favor of any political force.

Speaking about the previous government members, Gharibashvili admitted that the new government hindered their comfort and will continue to.

The government members called the speech “excellent and comprehensive”, while the opposition UNM members emphasized that the speech was inadequate and could be interpreted as flirting with Russia.

“The current government is trying to shift the blame concerning the current developments in Abkhazia onto the previous government and not on Russia,” MP Giga Bokeria said. Fellow UNM MP Giorgi Ghviniashvili stated that the PM ignored such important problems in his speech such is the sudden increase in crime in the country.

Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze states that the previous government’s strategy, if it existed at all, did not foresee any negotiations with the Abkhazian and Ossetian people. The analyst admitted that it is positive that the current government spoke about the restoration of direct links with the Abkhazian and Ossetian people.

“However, like all the previous Georgian governments, the current government also lacks a definite strategy towards the regions,” the analyst said.

“They (UNM) announced a rally on November 15 in terms of the developments in Abkhazia. If many people attend the rally, and it is possible lots of people will be there, the opposition party will try to state that all the people are their supporters. If there are few people, the UNM will say that the current government has triggered pro-Russian sentiment in the people,” Sakvarelidze said.