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PM Announces Merging of Several Ministries

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 27
The Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced on Tuesday that Georgia will have 10 ministries and one state minister office instead of current fourteen ministries, the step which was criticized by the opposition.

Bakhtadze stated that the Ministry of Culture and Sport will be merged with the Ministry of Education and Science.

The Ministry of Corrections will come under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons will be abolished, and integrated into the ministries of regional development and infrastructure, internal affairs and health.

The Agency of Religion will be merged with the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality.

The spatial development unit under the Ministry of Economy is going to be merged with the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

"I am sure that with these changes, we start implementing the concept of small government which is in the interest of our people. Government spending is going to be diminished alongside the structural changes”, the minister said.

The changes must be confirmed by at least 76 lawmakers in the parliament, where the Georgian Dream ruling party has 116 MPs.

Bakhtadze says that through the structural change the government will become more effective and state funds, more than 100 million GEL will be saved.

The member of the United National Movement Roman Gotsiridze says that until the budgetary and bureaucratic expenses are not actually decreased, structural changes will have zero result.

“The government should show where is the GEL 120 million, they plan to save. In fact, they are lying, because there is just mechanical rearrangement in the government,” Gotsiridze said.

Famous Georgian artist Gia Bughadze slammed the government for its decision to merge the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. Bughadze says the decision will have very bad results, and that he “cannot imagine worse.”

He says that the decision is the proof that the government cares less about education.