Leader of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili spoke in a rare address about some of the country’s most pressing problems
The chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, gave a lengthy interview to TV channel Imedi and touched upon some of the most pressing problems facing Georgia today, and how, in his opinion, they can be resolved.
Ivanishvili says that one of the main problems is the public’s ‘incorrect perception of the existing situation’. He says that the government is working effectively, and in order to increase the public’s awareness, a series of films and TV shows has been planned.
The chairman of the ruling party acknowledged that the public’s attitude is ‘negative’, which is being actively discussed by the Georgian Dream party. Ivanishvili says that a study commissioned by the party reveals a great deal of ‘nihilism and despair’ among the public.
Ivanishvili says “the government has been correctly assembled” and that it is effective.
Through its efforts, the population has received “great benefits” – both in healthcare and in other programmes.
Ivanishvili explained public dissatisfaction thus: “A person gets used to good things easily. [the alleged problematic state of the country] is a lie, behind which stands the United National Movement [ed. former president Saakashvili’s party].”
“We must do all we can to return society back to reality. But the reality is not as difficult as people think,” said Bidzina Ivanishvili.
On the economy
Ivanishvili said that the economy’s main issue is that “the current government inherited a devastated economy from the former government”, but that Georgian Dream managed to rectify the situation over the past seven years and that it is capable of “steadily developing”.
“Unfortunately, our inexperience over the past 21 years during the civil war destroyed the entire economy, then our irresponsible government failed to avoid the 2008 war. As a result, we received a lot of refugees and a completely collapsed economy. The main reason is lack of experience. After all, for the last 100 years we could not control our own state,” Ivanishvili said.
On the court
As for the judicial system, Ivanishvili said the issue is again one inherited from the previous government.
“Courts and prosecutors were appointed by the National Movement. And today, more than half of the people appointed by Adeishvili (the former prosecutor general of Georgia) work in the prosecutor’s office and in the courts,” Ivanishvili said.
He added that former members of his team, with whom a split recently occurred due to an issue in the judicial system, had not spoken a word about the issue for five years.
Today, Ivanishvili says, these former Georgian Dream MPs came out in a united front with the opposition and non-governmental organizations that are in alliance with the United National Movement.
“When a massive attack by the United National Movement and NGOs begins in an attempt to somehow regain control of the courts, the position of these deputies sounds as if it is in unison with these attempts, and they repeat the same words to the courts and judges.”
On TV shows and films
One of the most serious problems, according to Ivanishvili, is the quality of television programmes.
“If we analyze our media space – and we did so with our team – it is a complete horror. Not only has swearing become a regular occurrence, which is prohibited in normal countries … these TV shows, broadcasts … may be a reason to sound the national security alarm.”
Ivanishvili says this problem as a whole is global in nature, and a real threat, as it can lead to a “confused, stupid society”. Ivanishvili sees the solution to this problem in the creation of new series and the development of the local film industry.
“The decision has already been made in that the film industry will be revived. Georgian films should be made in Georgia, including TV shows and historical TV shows. We have a brilliant history.”
Bidzina Ivanishvili said that the Georgian authorities, together with the authorities of several developed countries, are working on the legal employment of Georgian citizens abroad:
“If this project can be implemented, and there is a high likelihood of this, then the absolute majority of emigrants will undergo retraining in Georgia and will be able to work in Europe and receive a European salary perfectly legally. We will also provide cheap flights so that these people can go home once a month.”