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Georgian officials assure Greece crisis not to affect us

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, July 3
Georgia’s Finance Ministry representatives claim that the Greece crisis will not affect Georgia’s economy much despite the fact the country provides the second-largest portion of remittances to Georgia.

“The situation in Greece will of course affect money transfers to Georgia, but remittances are already significantly reduced not only from Greece, but from other sources as well, so it will not have a significant effect on the Georgian economy anymore,” Deputy Finance minister Kakauridze told Rustavi 2 TV.

Meanwhile, Georgians living in Greece have been complaining in various media outlets that their situation is getting worse.

For its own part, Georgia’s Diplomatic representation to Greece claims that there is no dramatic situation there.

A large number of Georgians live and work in Greece. Many of them had to leave the country in 1990s when there were no working perspective in Georgia, in order to feed their families.

The people permanently transfered money from Greece for their relatives in Georgia.

Remittances to Georgia were down by 23.2% to USD 438.1 million in the first five months of 2015 from USD 570.6 million compared to the same period last year.

Remittances from Greece declined by 18.1% in January-May 2015 to USD 68.9 million from USD 84.2m in the first five months last year.

Now the situation might get even worse as Greece faces a serious crisis.

The BBC reads that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has made a defiant speech as cash withdrawal limits begin to bite for Greek bank customers.

Mr Tsipras promised the Greek people that their pensions and wages would be safe.

Before his speech, he put new proposals in a letter to Eurozone partners, accepting most of what was on the table before talks collapsed, but with conditions.

But the Euro group later rebuffed it.

Germany had already said talks with Greece will not be possible until after a referendum called by Tsipras for Sunday.

Georgians in Greece remain in a very dramatic stand-by position.