The Georgian government has changed its statement on the scandalous private trip of the Prime Minister to the US
Garibashvili in America
After the information spread in the media that the Georgian Prime Minister traveled to the US with his son on a charter flight, Nino Giorgobiani, Head of the Strategic Communications Department of the Georgian Government Administration, issued a statement. She explained that Irakli Garibashvili did fly with his son to the US on a charter flight in August, but the expenses were not paid from the budget.
However, the department later changed its own statement on the matter, saying that Garibashvili flew to Europe by charter and from there he flew to America on a regular flight.
“In order to mislead the public, false information is being deliberately spread that as if Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili traveled to the United States with his son on a charter flight.
In order to inform the public, we would like to clarify that the Prime Minister travels to America on regular commercial flights of various airlines during his official, business and private visits.
We once again clarify that it was a charter flight from Tbilisi to a European city, while the Prime Minister traveled to the United States on a regular flight. During the private visit, the Prime Minister’s trip, as well as the charter (commercial) flight or any other expenses were not covered from the state budget,” the statement said.
The Department of Strategic Communications of the Georgian government believes that certain media are trying to stir up a scandal about the fact that in August the Prime Minister traveled to the U.S. with his son, who started studying at the University of Pennsylvania. However, there is nothing scandalous here, as every person wants and has the right to be there for their child at such an important time, the department said.
“The Prime Minister fills out an income declaration every year, which reflects all expenses incurred, so wait for the publication of the next declaration,” Giorgobiani wrote.
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Kakha Kaladze, Mayor of Tbilisi: “There would be something to hide! When a person travels at his own expense, why should he report? When I travel to a foreign country at my own expense, do I have to stand up and tell everything? I have no need to travel somewhere at my own expense and talk to you about it”.
Mamuka Mdinaradze, one of the leaders of the Georgian Dream: “I can’t fly to Europe by charter, I don’t have such an opportunity, unless someone from the family who has such an opportunity helps me.
As you can see, [Irakli Garibashvili’s] family has certain incomes… All expenses are reflected in the declaration… The question was asked how [he flew], with whom – alone or separately… I know for sure that he was not alone, because he was together with his son. I am sure that information about the prime minister’s expenses will be included in the declaration”.
Khatia Dekanoidze, member of the Euro-Optimists political group in the Parliament: “A civil servant has no opportunity to hire a charter – I have been a civil servant for a long time, almost 20 years in different countries, and I want to tell you that if a civil servant lives honestly and if he is not mired in corruption, then of course it is a great tragedy that Georgia has a Prime Minister who allows himself to rent charters with corruption money and fly to any country”.
Eka Kvesitadze, journalist: “The University of Pennsylvania should realize that the Prime Minister of a very poor country rented a charter for his student and flew to America. What could be more humiliating and outrageous behavior not only for the prime minister but also for the student’s son. He should be held accountable just like his father. At this age, the lack of protest against the unsightly, corrupt, criminal behavior of his own father speaks volumes about the values of an adult!”.