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PM presents three-year report of government achievements

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, December 23
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili presented a three-year report of the government’s activities on December 21.

Strong state institutions, a transparent governance system, the European and Euro-Atlantic integration steps, energy projects, health and education projects, economic and cultural development, apolitical law enforcement agencies, the independence of the judiciary, improved election and labor laws were the main topics of the report.

According to Garibashvili, the main achievement of the government is the signing of the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU) and Georgia’s positive visa liberalization progress report by the European Commission, which will soon enable Georgians travel to Europe without visas.

"The first historic result of our work is clear - Europe gives the highest evaluation to our success and widely opens its borders. The EU's consent on visa-free travel is the highest evaluation of our multilateral work,” he said.

The PM also noted the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package and NATO’s support for Georgia, stated at the NATO Summit in Wales.

Moreover, he highlighted US support towards Georgia and the enhanced relationship between the countries, reflected in the increasing US financial support.

Garibashvili underlined that it was the current government, which due to its pragmatic dialogue restored trade cooperation between Georgia-Russia, which was stopped after the war in 2008, when Russia moved its armed forces against Georgia and occupied 20% of Georgia’s territory. The moves of Georgian govrnment brought benefits to the country and its businessmen.

The Prime Minister spoke about the importance of the Silk Road Forum – which was held in Georgia - and the Silk Road Project, which will turn Georgia into a transit country connecting the markets of China and Europe.

Economic achievements were also presented in the report. According to Garibashvili, agricultural revival is the main component of strong economy. He pointed out the Produce in Georgia project, which promotes local entrepreneurs.

The PM stressed that tourism in Georgia is one of the fastest growing sectors for the number of visitors within the past three years has reached 17 million, while in 2005-2012 this figure was 13 million.

Garibashvili claimed that under the current government, the court system and the Prosecutor’s Office were formed as independent, apolitical institutions.

The PM also spoke about the Universal Health Care Program, due to which health services have become more available for every citizen of Georgia, including those living in more remote regions.

According to Garibashvili, the implemented Hepatitis C Elimination Program turns Georgia an important example-setting country, in which Hepatitis C will be defeated forever.

The Prime Minister also touched upon the priority of education, noting that the state budget to this sector had increased by 35 percent since 2012.

The PM’s report also covered issues regarding Georgia’s Internally Displaced People (IDPs). Garibashvili said that at present, 15,000 IDPs have been given new flats and assistance to IDPs has doubled.

The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party did not agree with the PM’s report, saying it was far away from reality and full of cynicism.

It should be noted here that former ruling party UNM does not want to admit failures and criminal conduct its leaders committed while at power in 2003 -2012. Instead its members permanently underline the difficulties current ruling party faces.

“We all know that the Georgian economy continues to develop very slowly, import and export has reduced and the country is still in crisis…it is a tactic of the government to make people think that we live well,” UNM member Giorgi Gabashvili stressed.

The majority leader, Zviad Kvachantiradze, says that the report was compact, well-analyzed and full of commitments and facts.

“I call on our society to read the report carefully and they will be convinced that during the last three years, a lot has been done in the country,” claimed Kvachantiradze.