Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has stated it is unclear for her and the public why the Georgian Dream government has refused to take the second tranche of the EU’s 150 million euro loan which should have been addressed to decrease 'the social and human damage that COVID has done to our population'.
Zurabishvili said that the reason cited by the government for the refusal - positive moves in the state economy and the wish to decrease the country’s foreign debt - is weak.
She also said that ‘such unilateral decisions’ affect the country’s reputation and discourage investors.
We must also understand that in the post-Afghanistan period, a new strategic situation is emerging where our stability and security will depend more on Europe than before,” Zurabishvili said.
She stated that when Georgia has plans to apply for EU membership by 2024 it is important for the country to show more stability in its decisions and retain the trust of partners.
Our European future is in our hands. We need to focus on our progress, our objectives, our principles and have more ambition, not only in words, but also in deeds. pic.twitter.com/oTFkJU7XUV— Salome Zourabichvili (@Zourabichvili_S) July 19, 2021
She said that the October 2 municipal elections will be significant on the path of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and the government should ensure the holding of the race in a free and a competitive environment.
Zurabishvili slammed the United National Movement opposition party for its ‘brazenly' signing the EU mediated agreement after ‘taking all steps to undermine the agreement over the past six months.’
I stand on the side of Georgia's European choice, I do my best to ensure that no one, neither the government with reckless steps nor the destructive opposition, which today brazenly signs a document that was undermined six months ago, can jeopardize the strategic interests of our country,” Zurabishvili said.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan also stated today that the Georgian government’s refusal on the loan ‘was surprising’ and that Washington will take the decision into consideration.