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Opposition criticizes national currency problems

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 30
Members of the United National Movement (UNM) party and some analysts say that the current Georgian Dream government is making “unqualified statements and seems confused” in terms of the “rough devaluation of the national currency against the dollar”, which has hit its historic maximum with 1 lari costing 2.5 US Dollar.

A UNM member and ex-head of Georgia’s National Bank, Roman Gotsiridze, says the statements made by several Georgian ministers “stand far from reality”, especially when they claim that the lari's devaluation was because of the current situation in the region.

Gotsiridze says when a state isn’t an important regional trader, currency devaluations in neighbouring countries will not be the reason of the lari’s devaluation.

Gotsiridze also said the recent statement made by the Minister of Refugees, Sozar Subari, who said that if the lari did not devaluate this would have a negative effect on Georgian products due to the low cost import production, was “funny”.

The UNM representative also criticized Minister of Energy Kakhi Kaladze when he said the Government worked to support its citizens who have loans in US dollars, and after the negotiations with banks, their loans in USD may be changed into lari.

Meanwhile, the Government says they are working on the issues and stress that the regional situation, current developments in the United States (referring to the recent presidential eletion), and Georgia’s misbalance between exports and imports are the key reasons behind the national currency devaluation.

Economist Irakli Kipiani has appealed to those ministers who have no experiences with finances and economics to refrain from making statements on the national currency.

He stressed the major reason of the national currency devaluation is a weak economy and lack of radical economic reforms over the past four years, under the current state leadership.

Kipiani said the reduction of bureaucratic expenses, infrastructural development and a healthy strategy for attracting of foreign investments can play a vital role in the strengthening of the lari.

The analyst also opposed converting of loans in dollar into Lari, saying that private banks lacked the long-lasting reserves of Lari and the change would cause the rise of the loans’ interest rates.