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Germany Supports Georgia-EU Visa waiver

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 19
(MUNICH) - The government and parliament of Germany support Georgia’s European integration and the country’s visa free regime in the EU’s Schengen Zone, Georgia’s Foreign Ministry has reported.

The statement came after Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze’s meeting with the German Bundestag’s Vice President Claudia Roth, within the 54th Munich Security Conference.

“Georgia’s European integration and the visa free regime in the Schengen Zone are the good opportunity for establishing stronger ties,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry quoted Roth as saying.

For his part Janelidze thanked Roth for her country’s contribution to Georgia’s democratic development.

The statement over the visa is in the wake of the Georgian government’s announcement to make regulations tougher over the Georgia-EU visa free regime, as one of the German regions asked for the rejection of the Georgia-EU visa liberalization achieved last year.

The Nordrhein-Westfalen region of Germany has complained about the increased number of Georgian asylum seekers and initiated the abolishment of the visa free travel for Georgians in the Schengen zone for 90 days in any 180-day period.

The Georgian media reported that Italy may also soon raise the same initiative, as a number of Georgians violate the visa free rule and stay illegally in the EU member states.

Following the media reports the Government of Georgia made an extraordinary meeting, stating that the country will make regulations tougher to prevent the violation of the visa agreement rules.

The government has voiced about two changes which envisaged shifting of the whole readmission burden and expenses onto those Georgians who would violate the visa free rules and complicating the change of surnames.

The official data of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reads that between March 28 and November 2, 2017 in total 165,059 Georgians travelled visa free to the Schengen zone.