PM in parliament as opposition summons on economic issues: ‘our country deserves a more competent opposition’

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia told the opposition that they (the opposition) do not care about people. Photo: Prime Minister’s press office., 29 May 2020 - 16:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has appeared in parliament for the second time this week to respond to legislators’ questions about the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis and economic issues.

Gakharia, who was summoned by the opposition today to explain ‘why the country has failed to improve its economy and why the gov’t did not provide genuine support for its citizens during the crisis,’ the PM said that the opposition is only trying to mislead the public. 

I believe that Georgia deserves a bit better and more competent opposition,” Gakharia said. 

United National Movement MP Roman Gotsiridze asked the PM why the country’s population is ‘in extreme poverty and why Georgia was the only country which did not provide support for its citizens during the coronavirus crisis.’

Gakharia responded that ‘you have not left behind an economy like that of Germany’ and that, according to the data of the World Bank ‘the poverty has decreased by 10.5 points since 2012.’ 

The opposition said that the government is unable to help the country economic advancement. They stated that Gakharia will never be able to 'wash down the shame of dispersal of June protests.' Photo: parliament of Georgia press office.

What you say about the government’s activities during the crisis is also a lie. Due to the government’s efforts 600,000 Georgian citizens have managed to postpone the payment of their bank loans. We immediately covered communal fees for our citizens. More than 427, 206 people have already received the financial support from the government,” Gakharia said. 

He stated that since May 25: 

  • 72,175 individuals (who lost jobs due to the crisis) have already received 200 GEL monthly aid (which they will receive for six months).
  • 52, 151 self-employed people have received one-time 300 GEL aid.
  • 22,644 families with many children and poor families have received financial aid, as well as more than 40,000 people with disabilities.
  • 18,000 farmers have bought diesel at low prices, 27,000 farmers have used various support programmes and 38,000 people have managed to postpone paying customs fees for their vehicles. 

The ruling party MPs said that the day 'once again showed the face of unconstructive opposition.' Photo: parliament of Georgia press office.

You have never provided any financial aid for self-employed people. You did not even acknowledge the people and now you are incorrectly accusing the government of demanding many documents from the self-employed people for them to receive the financial aid,” Gakharia said.

Gakharia also stated that unlike the previous United National Movement government, the current government ‘did not abandon construction companies and their consumers during the crisis as you did in 2008.’

There are many buildings in Tbilisi which are unfinished due to the 2008 crisis. People paid for flats there…” Gakharia said. 

He also said that in 2012 the funding of the health system was 332 million GEL, while today it is 1.76 billion GEL.