The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, June 30
PM: Skepticism of the President and his economic advisor on new bill of NBG questions

According to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, the skepticism of the President and his economic advisor towards the bill on the separation of the supervisory function from the National Bank raises many questions.

As the PM said in his interview with the “Asaval-Dasavali” newspaper, their position is unclear.

"As for the President and his economic advisor, I cannot understand why they have such a skeptical view on the bill on separation of supervisory function from the National Bank. Their attitude raises many questions,” said the Prime Minister.

According to him, if the President vetoes the bill, the Parliament will overrule it, as it happened in a few previous cases.

As for the recommendations of international financial institutions, the PM said the Parliament took them into account.

"The bill initially caused a commotion in the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the EBRD, the World Bank and the international organizations with which the government of Georgia has been cooperating for the recent years.

“These organizations are very valuable and important for us, and we are interested in deepening cooperation with them. Accordingly, we explained to the international organizations that our aim is not to politicize the central bank, but on the contrary, to de-politicize it.

“Our friendly international community gave us very useful pieces of advice and I am glad that our Parliament took the recommendations into account," said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister said that he has an absolutely constructive and business-like attitude not only towards the President, but to all heads of state agencies, but if he sees that any of them somehow contradict the interests of Georgia and the Georgian people, his response will be very strong and clear.

First Austrian Embassy will open in Georgia

Austria will open its first embassy in Georgia in the second half of 2018.

As part of cost cutting measures, plans were in place for the country to close its embassies in the Baltic States and Malta and to open diplomatic representations in other "strategically important countries”, including Georgia, Moldova and Belarus.

This decision was announced by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Baltic media reported.

"I think that the Russian threat to Georgia is much more grave,” Kurz said.

"We focus on the countries that have particularly tense relationships with Russia."

Closing existing Austrian Embassies in Baltic States would not be a negative thing, said the Minister.

He stressed that the Baltic nations were already represented in the European Union and NATO and for this reason Austria was already "well represented” in the Baltic States in terms of consular assistance and economic cooperation.

Meanwhile the decision to close several Embassies and open others in new countries, including Georgia, would help the country save ˆ36 million, believed the Austrian Foreign Minister.

PM Reiterates Support for Constitutional Ban of Same-Sex Marriage

PM Irakli Garibashvili reiterated that he will “always” be in favor of introducing a constitutional clause that would define marriage as union of a man and a woman.

He first voiced the proposal last year, when the government tabled anti-discrimination bill, which was approved by the Parliament in May, 2014.

Article 36 of the Georgian constitution currently reads: “Marriage shall be based upon equality of rights and free will of spouses.”

But same-sex marriage is already banned by Georgia’s civil code, which defines marriage as “voluntary union of a man and a woman.

Asked in an interview with the Georgian newspaper Asaval-Dasavali if he still supports constitutional ban of same-sex marriage, the PM responded: “I have not changed my opinion; I still maintain the same opinion and always will.

“What our state is based on? On our religious belief, which has brought us to these days, and on the institution of family, which a modern strong Georgia should be based on. Family is called a second temple and I believe that the family is a source of all good,” he said in the newspaper interview published on June 29.

“Therefore, as Prime Minister and as a citizen of Georgia, I will do everything in order to make a clause in the constitution that will define marriage as union of a man and a woman. Today every country in the world decides this issue on its own. We think that’s how this issue should be addressed in Georgia,” Gharibashvili said.

"Government should compensate loss" - United National Movement

Untied national Movement states that the government should compensate loss to the victims of disaster. The MP Zurab Melikishvili stated that timely actions are necessary to help the population affected by the disaster which took place on June 13.

"The government should estimate the damage and compensate the damage. Society and ordinary citizens made donations to help the victims and not to depend on the bureaucratic processes .These people need immediate assistance," Zurab Melikishvili said.