Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said the UNM’s call for a crisis meeting was election PR. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–A planned meeting between two top people in the main political blocs in Georgia has been scuttled by a disparaging remark by one of the sides.

Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili from the Georgian Dream coalition, and Davit Bakradze, the National Movement’s candidate for president, were scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss the recent apparent economic downturn.

But Kvirikashvili said yesterday that the meeting had been called off, because of a statement made by another spokesperson for the National Movement party, former foreign minister Giorgi Vashadze.

Vashadze said Wednesday that the economy minister doesn’t have time for advise from the UNM.

The reason for the meeting was new figures published by Georgian Statistics Department that indicated a dramatic downturn in the economy. The report showed that GDP growth in June was negative 0.8 percent of what it was in 2012.

UNM spokespersons accused the new government of conducting a failed economic policy and twice asked for a meeting to discuss the crisis.

Davit Bakradze, the UNM’s candidate for president, first asked Prime Minister Bidzina Ivansihvili to meet, but the PM didn’t respond.

Later, the minister of economy said he was willing to talk to Bakradze, and a meeting was scheduled for August 15 at 13:00.

What scuttled the plan was when Vashadze said Wednesday that he thought ‘the minister of economy doesn’t have time to get advise from the United National Movement.’

Kvirikashvili explained that this statement made it clear that the meeting was only ‘part of election PR for the UNM and not a real desire to have a dialogue’. He said he cancels the meeting and puts the responsibility on the National Movement.

UNM party members responded by saying Kvirikashvili was behaving like a sulky child.

“His statement confirms that the government was looking for a reason not to meet with Bakradze,’ they said.