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Opposition criticises Gov’t over national currency

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, October 19
Member of the opposition United National Movement (UNM) Mikheil Matchavariani says the Government of Georgia “lacks an action plan” on how to strengthen the national currency, the Lari.

Georgia’s National Bank says the official exchange rate for today is 2.37 Lari for 1 dollar.

“The Government tried to somehow, artificially, strengthen the Lari before the elections. Now the Lari is going down again,” Matchavariani said. He added that the strengthening of lari required encouraging investments and supporting business.

“We know how it will happen and we wrote this in our election program,” Matcavariani added.

“The exchange rate of the lari will be stabilized in the medium term and it will gain value,” Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri countered..

He said the swift downfall of the national currency was because of a one-time interference of the National Bank of Georgia, carried out several days ago.

The UNM also criticized Georgia’s budget draft for next year, and said it lacked the promises given by the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party and instead induced boosted administrative expenses.

A member of the Georgian Dream (GD) party, Gia Volski, stated that the budget project of 2017 would be discussed after the formation of the new parliament.

“Even though it was supposed to discuss the budget of 2017 during the November 15 parliament session, it is better to violate a protocol a bit and discuss it after the formation of newly elected parliament,” stated Volski.

The second round of elections is scheduled on October 30.

Georgia’s electoral administration has time to summarize the second round until November 21, after which the new parliament will gather and approve a new government.