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PM says President joined artificial fuss made by opposition

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, July 30
The Prime Minister of Georgia has stated that the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has joined the opposition’s “false speculations” over the draft that envisages separation of the supervisory body from the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).

The PM stressed that the government has taken the recommendations and remarks of the opposition, civil sector and the international organizations into account over the controversial bill.

“This is absolutely artificially inspired and launched smear campaign, which damages business and investment climate in Georgia. These people are not well aware of the responsibility which they have before their own people and country,” the PM stated.

He cited the example of the Polish Banking System, where the Supervision Agency exists separately and it has been named as the best system in the world.

Gharibashvili said it is very important for the government to do everything transparently.

“I am calling on everyone to calm down. The current situation is harmful for our country and not the draft we are going to adopt,” said he.

The proposal, made by the government, envisages the setting up of the Financial Supervisory Agency apart from the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) which will be in charge of monitoring and oversight of banking sector and other financial institutions; these functions are currently carried out by the departments, which are is the part of NBG.

According to the bill, the planned Supervisory Agency will be governed by a seven-member board. President of NBG and one more member of central bank’s board will take two seats; five other seats will be occupied by candidates nominated by the government and confirmed by the Parliament. The head of the agency will be nominated by the board members and confirmed by the parliament.

Amid the opposition and the civil sector criticism that the draft threatens the independence of the NBG, parliament has already passed it with its first reading.

If the draft goes through all the three readings then it will be sent to the President.

The Head of the NBG, Giorgi Kadagidze, whose term is expiring, stated that the bill would damage the whole banking sector of Georgia and welcomed President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s intention to use his veto power over the draft .

The President states that he is against the amendments and that he is very likely to veto it if the Parliament accepts the changes.