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Non-parliamentary opposition demands ban on selling lands to foreigners

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, May 18
Several non-parliamentary opposition parties, the Democratic Movement-United Georgia among them, are demanding a ban on selling lands to foreigners. They claim that this must be written in the country’s main legal code, the constitution, which is currently being amended.

The issue of selling lands to foreigners is being regulated by Georgia’s organic laws.

Part of the majority supports the ban to be written in the amended Constitution.

However, the Parliament Chair, Irakli Kobakhidze, who also chaired the Constitutional Commission, says the “complete ban on selling the agricultural lands on foreigners may cause problems”.

He said that there were several banks in Georgia which have foreigners as co-owners or shareholders, and if a complete ban came into effect through the Constitution it would be impossible for Georgians to take loans in exchange for their lands as a mortgage downpayment.

The Patriarch of Georgia has also many times warned against the selling of Georgian lands to foreign citizens.

This is a very important issue and needs to be very cautiously discussed before making a final solution.

There are many foreign countries - including developed countries - which refrain from selling their own lands to foreigners.

It might be acceptable for an organic law to regulate the issue appropriately rather than needing to write anything new into the constitution.

There are many other ways beyond selling for a foreign citizen to use land and gain profit for himself/herself and the for the state economy, such as leasing the land or similar. However, foreigners generally have greater purchasing power than Georgians, and so this economic aspect must also be considered.