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The News in Brief

Friday, May 1
Georgian PM Speaks by Phone with German Chancellor

Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili said he had a “very fruitful” phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 29.

“She reiterated once again her support for our European aspirations,” Garibashvili said. “We spoke about situation in the region and in Georgia, as well as about reforms and progress made, especially over the past two years.”

“As you know Chancellor Merkel’s visit to Georgia is planned; I will refrain from specifying the dates at this stage,” he said.

Gharibashvili also said that the Georgian government “is motivated to do everything and we have actually done everything in order to have Georgia’s progress acknowledged” at the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in Riga on May 21-22.

“We hope that progress made by us and our people will be appreciated objectively,” Garibashvili added.

He said that government members will pay visits to some of the European capitals ahead of the Riga summit – Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani will visit France and Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri will pay a visit to Germany.

All government efforts, he said, are aimed at getting “maximum results” from the Riga Eastern Partnership summit.

“We have done everything and we are doing everything to attain the best result possible,” Gharibashvili said.

Although he did not specify what he would consider as “the best result”, in late February Gharibashvili said when visiting Brussels that Tbilisi was committed to fulfill all the benchmarks of the visa liberalisation action plan and “we expect that the [European] Commission will positively assess the accomplishments of our government and will issue a recommendation on visa waiver for short-term travel by citizens of Georgia. (

Czech Parliament ratifies EU-Georgia Association Agreement

Both Chambers of Parliament of the Czech Republic finished the ratification process of the Association Agreement signed by the European Union and Georgia on June 27, 2014 in Brussels.

Members of the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of the ratification of the EU-Georgia deal. The document was approved by the majority of votes with 116 members in favour and one against at its second hearing.

The Senate of the Czech Republic ratified the EU-Georgia deal on March 19, 2015.

The ratification process in the Czech Republic will be completely finished when President Milos Zeman signs the document.

The Czech Republic is the 19th EU member state to ratify the EU-Georgia deal. Other countries who have already ratified the important deal are: United Kingdom, Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Slovakia, Malta, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria.

Ratification of the EU-Georgia deal is ahead for nine more EU member states.

European Parliament approved the EU-Georgia deal on December 18, 2014.

Georgia has already ratified the agreement but the ratification process is currently continuing in EU member states. EU Association deals need to be ratified by all 28 EU member countries before the agreement can be fully implemented. (

Use of security agencies for political surveillance became frequent - Irakli Alasania

Irakli Alasania, leader of Free the Democrats party and former Defense Minister, has stated that use of security agencies for political surveillance has become extremely frequent.

During the campaign “Dialogue with Population”, Alasania claimed that his party offices are being watched 24 hours a day.

"What Saakashvili did remains in the past. Good things were preserved and the new government acknowledged them, but it is obliged to uproot the negative remnants. This is my main complaint against Ivanishvili’s government: they copied ugly forms of pressure from the previous government, such as use of the Prosecutor’s Office and security agencies for political surveillance, which has recently become very frequent.

In fact, they are now conducting round-the-clock monitoring of our offices. They spend resources, time and our voters’ money on it. It has not been changed but we will finally put an end to it after the 2016 elections. This, I can promise,” Alasania said. (IPN)