Europe, News

Ivanishvili answered questions in Strasbourg

by | Apr 24, 2013
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Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili answering questions in Strasbourg Tuesday at a meeting of the Council of Europe. (Official photo.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Tuesday presented his government’s plans for creating new jobs, amending the labor legislation and usher in new reforms to promote business.

Mr Ivanishvili was speaking at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). He said business is today freed from political pressure and the results will be seen when investments increase in the country.

The PM also spoke about reduced prices for water, gas and electricity, implementation of an agriculture program, health care reform and the media.

He then went on the emphasize that Georgia is still oriented westwards.

“We, countries establishing a young democracy, do everything in order to sooner become members of the EU,” Ivanishvili said, and drew attention to the parliamentary election six and a half months ago, which brought his government to power. He said the election ‘has become a precedent of democratic transfer of government in the country’.

“I know perfectly that we lack experience of democratic governing. When we have disputes with our opponents it is most obvious how we lack experience of political debates.”

He advised listeners to seek more information about the relationship between the government and the opposition in Georgia, after he was asked what mistakes the government has made in dealing with its opponents. He said it is not easy to cooperate with the opposition, which continues the ‘same rhetoric’ and increases the level of aggression in society.

The PM was asked about what progress has been made in sharing power between his bloc and President Saakashvili’s, what is often called ‘cohabitation’. He answered that cohabitation and restoration of justice ‘shouldn’t be mixed.’

“We are managing coexistence with the former government. Both the government and the opposition should manage to stand together instead of fighting, but we have too many problems in the country and there is no time to settle relations between each other,” he said.

There was a question about ‘why the government didn’t fully foresee the recommendations from the Venice Commission during the implementation of the court reform.’

Ivanishvili said the opposition is telling lies and that this is incorrect information.

“We shared 100 or at least 99 percent of the Venice Commission’s recommendations and we will foresee further recommendations in the future,” he said adding that the new amendment has the signature of the Chairman of the Supreme Court as well.

“The only person [who is] against it is Saakashvili, and he tries to use his right to veto the law,” he added.



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