Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili Tuesday held a press point at the Obreliani Palace, discussing her visit to Italy and Brussels. She deemed the Italy visit “a crucial visit at this crucial stage of our European journey.”
The President continued: “On the other hand, I went to Brussels, met with the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, where I came across a rather weighty picture. Given the situation, I was also planning to visit France and Poland. I will not go into details on procedural issues, there was no written request or answer … The logic of “don’t fly out or don’t fly in” prevailed over what I thought would be in the best interest of the country at that time. I met in Brussels what is called”spoiled work.”
Alluding to the Batumi Declaration of the Associated Trio, signed on 19 July of last year, she said it was “a very important step.” “It was clear then that Georgia was in the lead. Spoiled work is when, a year later, Georgia moved from leading country to last place.”
“Spoiled work was clearly revealed from different aspects:
In the resolution of the European Parliament – it appeared most clearly in the part that calls for the sanctioning of Bidzina Ivanishvili. Such a text, with its factual inaccuracies and unsubstantiated allegations, is indicative of only one thing: that no proper work has been done with the parties in the European Parliament that took part in drafting this resolution, and this applies to all parties in the European Parliament. The opposition, for its part, has worked to achieve its own goals, while the government has not done the job it owed itself or the party, choosing sometimes silence and sometimes insulting answers to serious questions. And it got its result! We must understand that this resolution is more an expression of mood than an announcement of something for which there is no factual basis at present.
The society should not be misled, this resolution is nothing but an expression of irritation at this stage, it is the result of the consistent work of some radical opposition and the silence and inaction of the government. It represents neither a decision nor a willingness on the part of the EU to take such measures. Nor is it true that so-called “indirect” sanctions have already been imposed. This ambiguity only serves to cover up the wrongdoings of those who were responsible for this work and who did not try their best to avoid this injustice for the country and the former head of its government.
The answer to this wrongdoing with conspiracy theories, with anti-European statements, is merely an attempt to cover up one’s own negligence. And by “own negligence”, I am talking about the ruling party’s; it is an attempt to cover up to blame me as if I put equal signs and not when you, the ruling party, did nothing to prevent Bidzina Ivanishvili from being included in that line. You’re the ones that have to look after this case,” she underscored.
On the candidacy consideration, Zourabichvili stated that “this accelerated process, the chance to get a candidate status with an accelerated step is not our merit, and it is only and exclusively the result of the sacrifice of Ukraine and Ukrainians, their struggle for freedom. The signing of the candidacy application on March 3 is just the result of that and we have to express our gratitude for that.”
“The fall-back from our place in the issue of candidacy is the result of our (or our government and partly also of the opposition) actions – political steps or unrealised steps. I can list a number of steps taken by the government from the day we met in Petra, Batumi and adopted the declaration – Zelenskyy here, Maia Sandu and Charles Michel there, a very big step for us in the trio format. After that, various decisions started and did not stop:
- First, the annulation of the Charles Michel document. The man arrived on July 19 and on July 28, we announced the annulation.
- Then, ineffective decisions in the July 5 case, failure to make effective decisions.
- Refusing a €75 million loan, as if “we don’t need it, what do we need it for.”
- Refusing the new rules on the election of the Prosecutor General, which was linked to the Charles Michel document.
- Surveillance tapes released in September; the appointment of members of the High Council of Justice; change of the rules for electing and extending the mandate of the CEC chairperson.
- The appointment of four judges to the Supreme Court in an expedited manner when, on the contrary, we were asked to temporarily suspend that process.
- The abolition of the State Inspector’s Service carelessly and this too at an accelerated pace.
- Even Gvaramia was arrested untimely and in the most severe form of punishment, when we already knew that these issues would be raised in the resolution of the European Parliament. I was even told that the timeliness of the court is not characteristic, but the politics is and we, if we want effective politics, must think about everything in time.
- And finally, now, in an expedited manner, changes to the law on surveillance. How is all of this seen from the outside. It is seen that these steps are taken in a way that we do not attach much importance to the reactions of the European Union, we do not show our political will to go in this direction and we may be interested in something else,” she asserted.
Salome Zourabichvili invited Georgian citizens, government officials and all political parties to show public unity on the country’s European future by gathering on Europe Square in Tbilisi tomorrow, at 7 pm. She also invited EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell and foreign diplomats to the occasion.