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Giorgi Kadagidze responds to criticism

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, March 2
President of National Bank of Georgia Giorgi Kadagidze stated that Georgia’s financial stability is not being threatened. Speaking at a press conference on February 28, he dismissed former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s criticism of the central bank, calling his words a deliberate slanderous campaign. He also said that blame-shifting in the current situation harms the already weakened national currency Lari (GEL), as well as the country’s economy in general.

Kadagidze stated that the situation is slowly calming down.

“I would like to assure everyone that there is no threat to Georgia’s financial stability, while my team and I are in charge of the National Bank of Georgia. We will not repeat the mistakes made many times in the past. The statement made by Ivanishvili was puzzling, as the GEL is gradually stabilizing,” stated Kadagidze.

In a statement, released on February 26, Ivanishvili said that blaming the government for the depreciation of the Georgian currency GEL is groundless, and accused Kadagidze of inaction.

Ivanishvili stressed that the central bank did not intervene sufficiently to help stop the sharp fall of the GEL, and suggested that the central bank should have sold more U.S. dollars from its reserves.

After Ivanishvili’s statement was released, some government members and representatives of the Georgian Dream coalition also voiced criticism of the central bank.

Head of Economic Policy Committee Zurab Tkemaladze, stated that talk of Kadagidze’s impeachment has not been mentioned or discussed.

Tkemaladze stressed that impeachment may only be used in cases of violating the Constitution or being convicted of a crime. However, he reiterated that the National Bank failed to take measures to stabilize the GEL in a timely fashion.

“The bank has levers available when facing problems caused by external or internal factors,” stated Tkemaladze.