President Giorgi Margvelashvili has turned down for now opposition’s request to convene a special session of parliament to debate on economic situation amid falling national currency lari.
He said that it would be reasonable to give the government time till March 5 to present a detailed plan on how it is going to tackle the problem.
Margvelashvili made the announcement after meeting ministers of economy and finance, Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Nodar Khaduri, respectively, on February 25.
Opposition UNM party asked on February 24 President Margvelashvili to convene a special session of the Parliament on Friday, where PM Irakli Garibashvili would be summoned to discuss “ways out of this crisis situation.”
On February 25 another parliamentary opposition party, Free Democrats, also joined the call for holding a special parliamentary session.
Before meeting government ministers, Margvelashvili received in the presidential palace FD chairman, Irakli Alasania, and other leaders of the party on February 25.
“Today I met Free Democrats representatives, who like other lawmakers, want to know, quite legitimately so, how the difficulties related to our currency can be overcome. I also met economic team of the government, which has presented key points of measures aimed at financial stabilization,” President Margvelashvili said.
“Ministers in charge of economy are working intensively with visiting IMF mission and in the nearest future, probably when the mission completes its visit, the [government] will present plan for short and medium-term measures aimed at financial stabilization,” he said.
“IMF mission will complete its visit on March 4 and therefore, I think that we should give the government’s economic team time till March 5 to present a very precise vision how to overcome existing difficulties,” the President said.
UNM has condemned President’s decision as “shameful.”
“Today, when due to government’s incompetence lari is in disaster and there is an economic and financial crisis in the country… the government is without a plan and it does know what they are doing,” UNM MP Giorgi Gabashvili said.
“Against this background they do not even want to hear about the plan, which can help bring the country out of this crisis,” he said.
He was referring to UNM’s proposal, which, among other things, also offers to cut income tax from 20 to 15%; to cut value added tax from 18 to 16%; to scrap tax from dividend or royalty, as well as excise tax on fuel, and to reduce excise tax on tobacco and alcohol.
“Regrettably, President Margvelashvili has acted like an integral part of [ex-PM Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s irresponsible political team,” MP Gabashvili said.