Georgian FM on EU loan: adding new debt amid economic growth would be unjustified

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has stated that making links between the Georgian government’s refusal to take the EU loan and the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations is wrong. Photo: Foreign Ministry press office., 01 Sep 2021 - 15:57, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani has stated that taking the 75 million euro EU loan by the Georgian government would be unjustified when the state economy has increased by 12 per cent over the past six-seven months. 

He said that the government’s explanations over the issue ‘were absolutely clear’ and that the decision has nothing to do with the ‘deviation from the country’s western course’ as several opposition leaders and NGOs said this. 

The Georgian Dream government has taken genuine steps to make the country’s Euro-Atlantic course irreversible,” Zalkaliani said. 

The Georgian government refused yesterday to take the second tranche of the EU’s 150 million euro loan. 

PM Irakli Garibashvili stated that the reasons behind the refusal were the positive moves in the state economy and the government’s intention to gradually pay the country’s more than 20 billion USD foreign debt. 

The EU delegation to Georgia has responded to the refusal, stating that they ‘respect’ the decision, but noting that the country has been unable to completely fulfil preconditions that would have been needed to receive the second instalment.

At a briefing late yesterday, the EU embassy said that the Georgian government has not yet taken genuine steps to improve issues in the country’s judiciary, increase its accountability and quality.