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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 13
(Prepared by Mariam Chanishvili)

European Parliament Member Says Georgia-EU Visa Deal May Face Threats

The Member of European Parliament (MEP) Petras Austrevicius has stated that the visa liberalization suspension mechanism can be enacted to Georgia if the number of people illegally staying in Europe increases.

“The first half of 2017 shows no dramatic increase of Georgian asylum seekers in the EU’s Schengen Zone ,” Petras Austrevicius told the Georgian Kviris Palitra newspaper.

The lawmaker stressed that the number of Georgians who stay illegally in the EU countries does not exceed 5%. .

“But there is also the so-called tolerance limit, and if the statements about the crimes committed by Georgians become more frequent, we will have to take measures,” Austrevicius stated.

He said that such a decision would affect Georgia and its law-abiding population. He hoped that the activation of the suspension mechanism against Georgia will not be necessary.

Georgia signed the visa free agreement with the EU in March 2017, which enables Georgian citizens stay in the Schengen Zone for 90 days in any 180-day period.

20 Opposition Parties Send Joint Lawsuit to European Court

The joint lawsuit by 20 different opposition parties about the falsification of the results of the 2017 municipal elections was signed to be sent to European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

A member of the political council of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, Giorgi Akhvlediani stated that this is an unprecedented case that 20 political parties "have managed to unite against Ivanishvili’s [founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party]cruelty."

“Parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition parties will sign a joint lawsuit, which will be sent to Strasbourg. The lawsuit concerns the total falsification of 2017 municipal elections,” stated Akhvlediani.

He noted that there were many falsified electoral protocols, making an in influence on the elections’ results.