TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s vice prime minister claims the National Bank could have helped stabilize the lari by monitoring large bank transactions in and out of the country.
Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze said this during an appearance on the talk show 2030, which runs daily on GDS, a TV channel affiliated with former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Kaladze admitted that the depreciation of the national currency, lari, is the greatest challenge the government is facing. Earlier, the government denied that the lari’s depreciation has had an impact on the economy.
Later, ministers began placing blame on the head of the National Bank, a Saakashvili-era appointee whose term expires in 2016. Ivanishvili, the godfather of the government coalition, was the first to do this, and implied that it has party political reasons.
Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze also clearly pointed the finger at National Bank President Kadagidze, and suggested that he could for example monitor large private bank transactions in and out of the country.
The vice PM said that the National Bank finds it difficult to ‘speak of any certain details’ about the devaluation of the lari.
“For example, let’s take the transactions of the largest banks. We have no information and we don’t know what transactions have taken place, at least in the recent months, by the Bank of Georgia or TBC Bank. It all has importance, and the National Bank really controls the means to do that.”
The minister is convinced that the National Bank is able to help the government solve the crisis.
Kaladze then continued saying that neighboring countries like Azerbaijan have even more serious problems and that the Finance Ministry and the National Bank have managed to overcome the devaluation of the national currency.
He said there are difficult processes ongoing in the region, not only in Georgia, but that the government has taken several steps in that regard.
“We also heard statements by the ministers of economy and finance and president of the National Bank that the necessary conditions are there for the lari to stabilize soon,” he said, adding that one of the means with which to achieve this is attracting foreign investments, as well as privatization of assets owned by the state.
“Of course, the president of the National Bank has to help with all that. He has very important means with which to intervene in those processes.”