Speeches & Statements

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili presented the new Prime Minister to the Georgian government


You are already aware that we had to make some changes in the government because the health condition of our PM Grigol Mgaloblishvili won't allow him to actively continue his work at this stage.

I personally had consultations with his doctor, which I trust very much.

Sometimes such facts happen, but it doesn't mean at all that Gega has some dramatic problems. He is a young man and as I was told, he will be fine in the next month and a half.

We do not have that much luxury to miss even a day, so I agree with the decision made by Gega Mgaloblishhvili.

Today a large economic hurricane is surrounding Georgia - due to the world crisis and war results numbers of Georgian enterprises have problems now. Jobs are under the threat as well. For example thousands of qualified specialists are dismissed from their jobs in the banking sector.

Now we have to work like a military headquarter.

We cannot be down - we have to work night and day, to make sure that jobs will be saved in Georgia. We need to create new jobs, we must avoid the world economic crisis.

You are aware of the prognoses made by the world financial organizations - all countries around us have the same forecast - economy will be decreased, and in some countries economy will collapse fully.

In these conditions the Monetary Fund's prognoses is positive regarding Georgia and it still hopes that we will have economic increase. But we need stability and hard and coordinated work of any single governmental entity or ministry, local administration or President's administration.

We all together must cooperate with business and with the Georgian society in total.

Today we have no time for experimenting. This is not a new cabinet, because except of this change, no other changes at this stage - and probably for a long time - will not be carried out in the government, because now we need stability. Situation, in terms of both economy and security, remains vulnerable.

We are making a mechanic move - the Prime Minister becomes first vice premier, and the first deputy vice premier - will be appointed as a Minister of Finance.

I would like to note that this is not only symbolic or even technical change.

Nick Gilauri is the oldest member of this government together with George Baramidze.

It is Nick Gilauri's personal achievement that people in Georgian cities and villages have electricity and watch TVs today.

It is his and his friends' achievement that we had reached energy stability in Georgia.

I would like to remind you that the budget incomes raise several times after Nick Gilauri became the Minister of Finance.

It is the achievement of his entity that we have never stopped issuing pensions and salaries, even during the war.

Many people do not even know that some members of government brought cash in Georgia during the live fire. We needed this money for pensions and salaries.

I want to say that Georgian government is exceptional with the stability of its cadre, despite the fact that many people say something else.

You see that here are the ministers that have never changed since 2004 - Gia Baramidze, Vano Merabishvili, Nick Gilauri, Zurab Adeishvili and others.

It happens very rarely in democratic governments when almost the half has not changed during 5 years.

So the government is stable enough, despite the fact that the PM has changed several times.

This is the government that extends permanently and is filled with new cadre on the permanent basis.

Several very interested ministers were added to this government - Nick Rurua, Lasha Jvania, David Sikharulidze... I want to remind you that Koba Subeliani was a great discovery for us. Plus there are people of all ages in our government.

It is Kakha Bandurashvili's merit that the monsters like Customs and Income entities were developed from very low level.

It is right to appoint people only according to it's political party and it is normal in democratic system, but also because of people's professionalism.

Grigol Vashadze never was a member of any political party, but we now have his in our government.

I was watching him on TV show the other day and people were sending SMS-es about his citizenship. It doesn't mean anything that he has Russian citizenship together with the Georgian.

This meant that Georgian government has permanent ability to renew and widen. It is natural as well that in the conditions of democracy some will leave the government and new cadre will always be added.

I would like to tell every minister to search for new cadre permanently.

Tomorrow for example we are bringing successful Georgian economists from all around the world together with Nick. We want first of all to listen their opinions about the world economic crises and then we will see how can we use their experience here in Georgia. Vladimer Gurgenidze is the simple example of this approach.

At the same time we need to take good care of already existing cadre.

It cannot happen like it was before - new chiefs will not bring their people in and dismiss old coworkers massively.

I think this childish disease is not common in Georgia any more.

Stability of cadre and permanent change of blood is our important achievement and step forward.

I have not invited you here to tell you how proud I am with all our achievements - we do not have a lot today to be proud of.

Georgia is under the huge financial-economic risk threat, due to the situation around the world the conditions change weekly. This is why we need to be very careful and watchful, because at this stage our major aim is to maintain financial stability, especially to safeguard social budget. Even if we reduce everything, we must safeguard this sphere.

At the same time our mission is to save, maintain and attract jobs, to maintain and develop economy. This means that we need to attract new investments and fulfill state infrastructure development investments program, which mostly is in connection with ministries of infrastructure and economics and other ministries as well. Every minister must work together with Lasha Jvania, David Tkeshelashvili and with the Minister of Finance on the implementation of this program and on creating new jobs.

Our mission is to avoid the misfortune that caused so many troubles to the countries in the region - pension and salary debt and the collapse of the banking system. People do not take their money to the banks and of sufficiently they do not withdraw money from the banks.

It is impossible in Georgia and we have practically avoided it.

These countries experienced national currency collapse and our national currency is firm.

We must work night and day to make sure we are on the same loop. We must continue development of our economy, we must undertake infrastructural investments and create jobs.

After the Parliament ratifies this change, first task for the premier will be to develop more flexible medical insurance system. I hope this change will take place soon and I hope we will not have any problems, because all the rest of the government members remain on their posts.

You now that million people got insurances, but now urgent medical assistance is not financed by the state any more, and one of the layer of our society is totally unsecured.

I have personally seen socially unsecured people who saved their lives with the help of insurance, so we have to develop system, by which no one will be left without medical insurance in Georgia.

We will not be able to do this without the interference of our society, no one can have this illusion, because even the richest countries can not have fully free insurance policies. We do not have this much luxury, but we must create such system by which society will defend themselves by the help of the state.

One more thing I would like to add - it is true that our economy is not in the condition like other our neighboring countries, in case of Russia this has a political reason, but it is a fact, that economic indicator decreased in our country as well. But even in these conditions Georgians try to come back to Georgia from Russia, Ukraine, Baltic and other countries.

The Ministry of Justice Civil Register made a step forward and simplified ways to return for Georgian citizens living abroad.

I am very proud that during these last 5 years more people returned to Georgia than left it.

It has to be continued.

We have more chance now to return our fellow citizens.

We have many Georgians abroad that have collected money in business and want to continue their business in Georgia.

I have also tasked the President's Administration to develop special entity, which will work with people and simplify their orientation. These people can invest their capital in free economic zone, in agriculture, infrastructure and other spheres.

First of all we need these people to return to Georgia and on the other hand they owe big capitals - in some cases several and in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars - they can fulfill various projects in Georgia, which will save our jobs and create new.

Now, when others are in huge needs, we can use this chance and invest capital in the right way.

This will be one of the priorities of the Georgian government.

I would like to say that Georgian government will not change any more, practically these are some slight changes. No change will happen during a while, because Georgia needs stability.

Now everything is vulnerable in Georgia. Security situation is vulnerable, but now we have to work on the development of our country like never before.

I had a long conversation with Vladimer Gurgenidze today, he was abroad for several months because of the family reason. Now he plans to get actively involved and work hard, and I hope the same will be with Gega when his health problems are solved.

I want to ask Lado to represent Georgian government and the President at the International Energy projects, to work with huge energy for example on the possible Nabuko project. This project is very important for Georgia. Some agencies work on the transportation issue, but we need to separate this very important project for Georgia, we need to work specifically on it's organization, lobbying and fulfillment.

I am planning to get active personally about this issue.

Except the fact, that this project has strategic importance for Georgia, we need to understand that this will be one of the main source for jobs. Because as soon as this project will launch in Georgian infrastructure, energy sector and in Georgian economy hundreds of millions dollars will be invested.

We need to provide development of Georgian economy in coordination with Nick Gilauri.

Today, as never before, the future of Georgia is depending on our hard work, on our coordination and efficiency, on the political and economic stability of our country. It is my personal responsibility as well, because responsibility on Georgia's economic and political future of course is my responsibility.

This is why we need to continue working with the same rhythm, like before.

We have avoided many risks as the result of those reforms, which all of us conducted during these years. But the world crisis is so large, that we will not be able to save our economy only with the past achievements.

I want our society to know that before foreign conditions improve, we will have series of problems.

First of all the state apparatus must get ready that this world economic crises will definitely damage us.

We might get damaged, but it will not kill our country.

We are making bet not to save only our economy but our statehood.

We are a country, which is under existential foreign threats and risks.

In these conditions this is not the issue of solving our economy, but solving and strengthening our statehood.

So we are not admiring ourselves, because there is not such heavy condition like it is in Lithuania or in Ukraine.

We will have risks and threats. We have all of this ahead, but we must know that if we continue to work like we did before, if we maintain stability, Georgia will overcome these threats, we will reduce damage at most and all of us together will go to the end.

I want you talk in the Parliament about future steps, that we are taking in sphere of economy and we will permanently explain to the society, what we are doing to save the jobs, to reduce risks and create new jobs, to explain them what we are doing in regard of strengthening and securing stability, we must explain them what we do to unite Georgia.

So we need to be in the permanent dialogue with our society, with our foreign partners and investors, but first of all with Georgian society.

Finally all of us together - the President, PM, Ministers, Governors, Heads of Administrations, Mayors belong to Georgian society.

We must have dialogue even with the smallest part of society, but this doesn't mean that anyone can talk to us on the language of ultimatum. Dialogue has vital importance.

We, as the society in whole must avoid crises together.

The working process of our government must continue with the same rhythm.

This is all I wanted to say.

Thanks a lot!

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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