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PM expects EU will make positive decision on visa liberalization

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 20
“We have received information that the European Union is very positive about Georgia and at the end of the year, there is a high probability that we will have a positive decision on visa liberalization,” the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, stated at the government session on November 19.

According to the PM, the government has done its best during the last three years, to fulfill all the obligations of the visa liberalization process and they now have positive expectations.

Garibashvili claimed that in meetings with EU, Georgian ministers were told that members of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party asked the EU not to grant visa liberalization to Georgia.

“Members of the UNM told the EU that it is not desirable for Georgia to receive visa liberalization in the conditions of the present government. I don’t know how to assess this if not as a hostile attitude towards our people and country,” PM said.

He also spoke about the current developments in Europe and stated that security measures had also been strengthened in Georgia.

“We fully control the situation. No special risks are seen at the moment. It is good, but we need to be mobilized. Round-the-clock work and control is necessary,” noted Garibashvili.

The Prime Minister rejected the rumour that salaries have been increased in the government. According to him, government ministers will not receive any bonuses, and by 2017 this system will be fully regulated. The PM explained that only the salaries of teachers, policemen, doctors and soldiers have increased.

“Salaries of soldiers have increased by 113 million, and police officers’ salaries by 106 million Lari. In addition, the salaries of doctors and teachers have increased. The information that the government increased its own salaries is a lie and a speculation; citizens are being deliberately mislead,” stressed PM.

Garibashvili stated that the government will start a new state program, which envisages the promotion of the tea industry and the rehabilitation of tea plantations.

“Within the program, the government intends to rehabilitate 7.000 hectares of tea plantations; we will also implement the program of small enterprises promotion together with our donor companies,” the PM said.

The Minister of Agriculture, Otar Danelia presented another program at the session.

According to him, the government will implement a program to promote storage facilities. Danelia stated that every year, there is nearly a 10-15% loss of vegetables and fruit, because they are not kept in appropriate storage conditions.

“For the purpose of improving harvest storage infrastructure, mountainous regions will be the most promoted. Also, the regions with the lowest economic activity will receive special benefits,” said Danelia.