President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, gave an exclusive interview to the weekly analytical newspaper Kviris Palitra.
Margvelashvili reflects on his party’s achievements
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, December 25
Margvelashvili said that this year was very important for the Georgian Dream (GD). Citing healthcare, agriculture, education, infrastructure and economic projects as the most important achievement of 2013, Margvelashvili said that the GD undertook all the reforms in a democratic way. The president also welcomed the improvement in the level of freedom of media.
An increase in the healthcare budget, the introduction of general insurance, the distribution of free textbooks, provision of free faculties and the rehabilitation of schools are among the projects the GD can boast about in 2013.
However, according to the President, GDP in Georgia is lowest among the former Soviet states. “The unevenness of income and welfare points to the fact that wealth is distributed among the population unequally,” Margvelashvili said. He also added that by depoliticizing business from politics, and creating investment funds, it will lead to the construction of business on a “solid and healthy basis.”
President Margvelashvili said the most important that the coalition could not manage to do is to develop business. He said there still is lot to be done. According to Margvelashvili, people need fair information about what the government does instead of following PR.
Welcoming balanced responsibilities of the president under the new constitution, Margvelashvili said that more powers never mean more opportunities, but rather more responsibilities and non-stability especially in a country like Georgia.
Calling the initialization of the Association Agreement with the European Union in Vilnius a historic step, Margvelashvili said Georgia will have a very important year ahead.
“I do not know any other country so consolidated over its European choice,” Margvelashvili said
Margvelashvili said Georgia would never be the kind of neighbor that creates problems for others, but it would always defend its territorial integrity within its internationally- recognized borders and demand the same from its neighbors. The president said the future of Georgian-Russian relations is difficult, as it always has been throughout history.
According to President Margvelashvili, Georgia has two formats of relations with Russia: Geneva and Prague. He said that the Prague format is mostly focused on the development of cultural and economic ties.
“I think the separation of these two formats was a good step. We can see that step-by-step [Georgian] wine, mineral waters, and agricultural products are returning to the Russian market, creating a positive background for opportunities to talk about the political issues,” Margvelashvili stated.