Screengrab from GDS TV showing studio of “2030” program.
Former Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, launched a TV talk-show on Sunday, prepared by his organization, called “2030”, to, as he put it, provide public with “qualified analysis” and to help the society “see developments correctly” in a media landscape, where, he said, opposition UNM party’s “propaganda and lie machine” Rustavi 2 TV is still setting the agenda.
The talk-show is aired by GDS (Georgian Dream Studio), Tbilisi-based television channel owned by Ivanishvili’s son Bera.
Although apparently he won’t be an anchor of the show as he initially planned, Ivanishvili said that he will be a frequent participant of the program.
The talk-show has the same name as Ivanishvili’s organization, which is a reference to the year 2030 – previously he has said for multiple times and reiterated again on Sunday that Georgia would require at least 20 years to develop into a genuinely European state.
“The goal of the project is to [provide] qualified analysis of developments in Georgia – mainly of political events and economy; at the same time we will also discuss and make correct accents on issues related to country’s development strategy,” he said while speaking in the talk-show in which two other representatives of the 2030 were also participating.
“We have a quite large group for that purpose,” he said, referring to his organization. “There are more than 60 people in 2030; there are many creative people, capable of making analysis and we will try to provide unbiased analysis and accents to the population – something that is now lacking in media landscape. The fact that UNM’s propaganda machine is dominating media landscape, providing lots of lies to the population, makes it difficult for the people to correctly understand what is going on in reality.”
“I will be very active in this regard – I will be participating [in this TV talk show] almost on the daily basis to analyze processes and to set correct accents. Excessive trust of people that I have will make it easier for them [viewers] to see developments correctly,” Ivanishvili said.
“UNM’s propaganda and machine of lie, Rustavi 2 TV, unfortunately dominates on the media landscape… making it very difficult for the population to understand what is going on. I think that this project, 2030’s daily [TV] program, will make it possible to provide balanced analysis and correct accents, which is so needed for the society,” he said.
Claiming that it won’t serve to promotion of any political party’s interests, Ivanishvili added that the TV talk show and “analysis” of events provided by 2030 will only be “taking into account the country’s interests.”
He said that 2030 project will also help to “supply” media with “many new young analysts” and commentators.
‘Society Should Know What to Demand and When from Govt’
Ivanishvili said that the society should not have over-exaggerated expectations and added that the society should know what to demand and when from the government. He said that people should know real situation well in order not to ask the government to fulfill unrealistic demands, which cannot be delivered in a short period of time.
“If we fail to realize well what to demand [from the government], when and to what extent, we may receive a disaster,” Ivanishvili said, adding that UNM is now trying to portray the current government as incapable, which should resign. “If the people do not demand what the government actually can deliver and if the people start demanding to do immediately something that can only be done in ten years … we may get [a situation] wherein government can be operating efficiently, but people might be anyway dissatisfied and they may not even wait for the elections to change the government.”
“We should not have false expectations. We should know what actually we can do now and what to expect tomorrow,” he said.
On opposition UNM party, Ivanishvili said: “For nine years [when UNM was in power] they were in opposition to their own people, trying to paint a virtual world… They were trying to convince people that everything was fine. Now, as they are no longer in the government, they are trying to convince people that everything is falling apart; they want economy to collapse; they want to return back into power – their return in the government is absurd… They can do anything [in order to return in government], but they have no capability to do that and will not have it in the future either; we will do everything for that and the society is not as stupid as they [UNM] think; and with our project  and proper analysis we will make it easier for the society to make [right] accents.”
When asked about the major problems, Ivanishvili said that while in terms of democracy Georgia can be compared to any European state, Georgia is falling 15-20 times behind them in terms of economic development.
Commenting on his remarks made in December, 2012 – one month after becoming the prime minister, when he pledged that each of the following year of GD government’s term in office before 2016 elections would have seen significant economic progress, Ivanishvili said that this progress was made more in terms of democratic development rather than in economy.
“What was possible to do fast, we’ve done it… We’ve made a great leap forward in democracy” he said. “One can’t bring economy on the level of Europe in just two years, neither in five years.”
He said that economic difficulties, including depreciation of the national currency lari, were because of external factors.
“But I am convinced that Georgia will have fast-paced economic growth… I assure people to be optimistic, a huge economic growth is expecting us… Our country is doomed to succeed and to return to our European family,” Ivanishvili said.
“Our target is to have the state similar of those in Europe by 2030… The fact that Georgia’s economy might be on the level of today’s Spain and Italy by 2030 is not bad. I am sure that we can do even better,” Ivanishvili said.
The anchor of the talk show, Archil Gamzardia, concluded the program, which lasted for more than an hour, by saying: “I think the real data and information that we discussed today give us a reason to be more optimistic and this [TV] project will help the society to get more precise information in order to better understand what views to have towards various processes.”