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Georgian agricultural land not to be sold to foreigners

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, June 9
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says it will be defined by the Constitution that agricultural lands will not be sold to individuals who are not Georgian citizens.

Kvirikashvili made the statement at the cabinet session on June 8. He added that serious consultations were held over the issue within the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party.

“The right of agricultural land ownership will only have a citizen of Georgia, the unification of Georgian citizens, state and self-government entities,” the PM said.

Furthermore, Kvirikashvili said that the amendment directly echoes the requirement that the majority of Georgian population has.

Two days ago, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, also said that such changes would take place. Kobakhidze believes that the law will protect the strategic interests of Georgians.

According to him, the decision was made after taking into consideration some important factors such as the current and potential market value of land plots, foreign investments, economic growth, existing practices of national agricultural land acquisition and national interests.

“The new record of the Constitution will guarantee that agricultural land resources will not be sold to the persons who are not citizens of Georgia and the amendment will also protect our national strategic interests,” he stated.

The Movement for Freedom – European Georgia opposition party says that the initiative is a ‘populist’ step from the government. They believe this step will worsen the economic situation in the country.

“Doubts about this issue that if the foreigners buy our plots they will take it away, are absurd…it is one more populist step,” Giorgi Tugushi from European Georgia said.

The Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG), which has only six MPs in Parliament, supports the changes made by the government.

“Georgian land plots should not be sold to foreigners…this should be clearly stated in the Constitution,” Irma Inashvili from the APG stressed.

The amendment has already been added to the constitution draft and it has been discussed at the Human Rights Protection Committee setting.

Later, the constitutional amendments will be discussed with its two hearings in Parliament in late June, while the third hearing will likely be held during Parliament’s autumn session.