TBILISI, DFWatch–There were several anti-government demonstrations in Tbilisi on Thursday in reaction to the thirty percent drop in the value of the national currency, the lari.
Smaller groups that are not represented in parliament made up the brunt of the demonstrators. They blame the government for what has happened and demand that it steps down.
If not, the groups will take their demonstrations to the business center of Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire who was prime minister the first year of the Georgian Dream coalition government.
In interviews made after the lari began to tumble, but before the latest drop, Ivanishvili claimed that the lari was in good health. In a statement on Thursday, he blamed Giori Kadagidze, the president of the National Bank, for the sharp drop in the currency’s worth.
Kadagidze was appointed during Saakashvili, and Ivanishvili accused him of inaction faced with the currency problems.
The president of the National Bank is elected for a seven year term. Kadagidze was appointed in February 2009.
Georgia has a monetary policy where the currency is allowed to float. The National Bank is expected to intervene only in order to maintain a stable inflation rate, with the target set at 5% in 2015.