TBILISI, DFWatch–The opposition in Georgia is blaming the government of impoverishing the country after the lari dropped in value again and is approaching a ‘psychological’ benchmark rate of 2.50 against the US dollar.
Its official rate against USD was set as 2.4195
by the National Bank of Georgia on Thursday morning. However, at some exchange booths it was traded at 2.48. The NBG artificially held the exchange rate below its real value prior t the October 8 elections, Zurab Chiaberashvili, former Tbilisi Mayor and active UNM member, said.
“Ahead of the election, the National Bank artificially buoyed the lari from devaluation, to create the illusion that it is possible to improve the economic condition with Ivanishvili’s regime. Now we see that this is impossible,” Chiaberashvili said at the briefing on Thursday.
“The NGB wasted 180 million laris from the currency reserves in September and October to lick the boots of Ivanishvili,” Chiaberashvili claimed, adding that in doing so NBG put the country at even higher risk in a long-term perspective.
However, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri seems more optimistic, insisting that the macroeconomic statistics indicate that the Georgian lari is improving.
“I’d certainty say that the macroeconomic factors have not deteriorated, on the contrary, they have improved,” Nodar Khaduri said at the briefing on Thursday. “I think this is really a temporary decline in the rate and in the near future we should expect improvement.”