Does an electro-maidan await Tbilisi?
The Minister of Energy of Georgia, Kakha Kaladze, spoke about the government's readiness to raise electricity rates in the country by 22% from August 1st. The National Commission on Energy is considering the application of the electricity distribution company Telasi.
Kaladze said that the tariff increase will affect Energo-Pro Georgia's subscribers, which provides electricity to 70% of Georgia. "The regulatory commission will calculate the Telasi tariffs using a standard process; we can therefore assume that tariffs will be increased in the same way, because companies buy electricity for the same price," Sputnik Georgia cited him as saying.
The decision to raise tariffs in the regions has already been made, the government has promised subsidies to vulnerable families. The situation is analogous to the recent increase in electricity tariffs in Armenia, which caused widespread protests in Yerevan and other cities.
The head of the Institute of Management Strategy, Petre Mamradze, told Vestnik Kavkaza that now we can't talk about a repetition in Georgia of the recent Armenian events, where the citizens for a few weeks demanded the abolition of tariff growth. "Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has already said that a program will be designed to subsidize the poorest citizens," he said.
Meanwhile, he noted that in future Georgia expects hard times in terms of electricity. "The Energo-Pro company, which delivers electricity, as well as a number of other things, said that this increase does not prevent financial problems. According to them, due to the fact that the dollar has risen in price, even the new price will be insufficient to cover the costs. It could cause interruptions and blackouts in the country from September-October," the analyst concluded.
The head of the Center for Security Studies and International Relations of Georgia, Nika Chitadze, said that the increase in electricity tariffs will cause a surge of discontent with the authorities from the Georgian citizens. "Maybe there will not be mass demonstrations, but the indignation at the actions of the current government, of course, will increase. This will help to reduce the legitimacy of the current authorities of Georgia, because one of the main promises of the government was to reduce tariffs by about 50%," the expert said.
"Accordingly, when one of the main promises wasn't kept, it will further reduce the rating of the current Georgian authorities," Chitadze concluded.