European Parliament Member ‘Not My Boss,’ Garibashvili Asserts

A Member of the European Parliament is not my boss,” said Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili today, asked by reporters to comment on MEPs criticizing his government over not asking for the EU loan conditioned on court reform and upholding the April 19 EU-brokered deal.

“Our bosses are the Georgian people,” the PM stressed, adding “if they [MEPs] are actually interested in understanding the situation and the substance of the issue, they should look into it instead of making shallow statements.”

Reporters pressed the PM for comments after MEPs Viola von Cramon (The Greens/EFA, Germany) and MEP Andrius Kubilius (EPP, Lithuania) yesterday slammed the Georgian Dream government’s refusal of the EUR 75 million loan. MEP von Cramon argued that Georgia had not fulfilled the conditions anyway. “You can’t decline what you were not eligible for,” she tweeted.

The Georgian Prime Minister pointed accusatory fingers at the European People’s Party (EPP), saying it is the “mother party” of the United National Movement, GD’s arch-rival. The EPP MEPs are “traditionally in solidarity” with the UNM and make “biased statements” without looking into the issue first, PM Garibashvili claimed.

He said ever since 2012, the year when GD was handed over power from the UNM, EPP representatives have been spreading “disinformation” both in Tbilisi, and in the EU institutions, including, about the Georgian Dream founder, former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Claiming that Georgia’s judiciary is “well ahead of the courts of the European Union Member States,” PM Garibashvili reiterated that the Georgian government refused the conditional loan to, among others, avoid the “political insinuations and speculations.”

MEP von Cramon responded to the Georgian PM remarks ironically, noting: “Very tempting career perspective.”

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