New Faces of Georgian Government
Yesterday, the Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili presented the new Cabinet (See New 'Georgian Dream' government: same faces). All power ministers maintained their positions, however, significant changes were made in the economic bloc. The Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri was dismissed; and it wasn’t surprise on the background of outgoing devaluation of the national currency.
Right after parliamentary elections on October 8th when Georgian Dream gained a triumphal victory, lari fell down by 30 points. It was backed up by dollar interventions for electoral reasons; but as soon as it was “set free”, the national currency set off for free floating, worsening a credit and mortgage burden of thousands of citizens who had huge dollar debts to banks and got revenues in lari.
However, Khaduri didn’t go too far: the former Minister of Finance was proud to be present at the presentation. Now he is the head of the Service for Competition Control. And the former Minister of Economy Dmitri Kumsishvili became the Minister of Finance. That’s how the Premier made it clear that he had no intention to change anything in the economic and financial policy.
The head of the Cabinet pacified the market and foreign investors by an appointment of the former business ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia, a respectful person among investors, to the position of the Minister of Economic Development.
Another ‘victim’ was the unpopular Minister of Infrastructure Nodar Javakhishvili who was replaced by a young enthusiastic manager Zurab Alavidze.
Javakhishvili failed to promote big projects which had been implemented over four years of Georgian Dream’s ruling. There were much more of them than Mikhail Saakashvili’s projects over 9 years of his presidency. But the former president was a PR genius, and it seemed that Georgian Dream did nothing after ‘a rapid development decade under Saakashvili.’ The number of built roads and highways proves that it is not true, but it is senseless to struggle against a massive opinion; so they had to hire ‘a talented and enthusiastic manager’ to deal with PR and promotion.
The position of the State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration is taken by the former Ambassador of Georgia to the OSCE Viktor Dolidze. Not long ago, Dolidze was one of leaders of the pro-Western opposition and accused Kvirikashvili’s government of ‘a change of the foreign political course from pro-Western to pro-Russian.’ Accepting a proposal to become a minister, Viktor Dolidze admitted that nothing threats the course for integration with NATO and the EU.