Georgia: PM outlines nation’s fuel ranking amid protests

Costs of fuel are higher in 99 countries as compared to Georgia; Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili pointed out on Monday, March 28, in response to demonstrations in Georgian cities over rising prices of fuel on the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Georgia is ranked 100th throughout the world in terms of fuel prices, Georgian PM stated while pointing to the country’s “import-dependent” status. According to the government head, local pricing reflects the “similar issues” as those faced globally in the aftermath of the conflict that erupted last month.

While commenting, the PM referred to the rallies held yesterday in numerous locations around the country where demonstrators protested the rising costs of fuel, requested the repeal of the excise tax on fuel, and the transfer of the value-added tax to a floating mode. Several people were arrested as a result of the protests across the country.

Moreover, Garibashvili called on the people not to “react to provocations,” adding police officials “had to respond” as individuals “acted provocatively” and jammed the streets during the rallies. “There must be order in the country, and all residents must observe the law and rules,” Garibashvili stated, calling the events “unacceptable.”

The cost of gas both in Europe and Georgia was also highlighted in the remarks by the Georgian PM, who stated the price of 1000 cubic meters of gas in Europe had touched $3,900 about 3 weeks ago while in Georgia stood at $120. According to the head of the Government, the gap in the pricing of gas is a “huge difference.”

Furthermore, Georgia is “no exception” in increasing prices and inflation, PM also said, pointing to the 13.7 % inflation rate in February in the country and contrasting the figure to rates during the previous Government.

Fuel costs in Georgia are increasing due to the rise in oil costs worldwide, as well as the rise in shipping costs in the Black Sea in the midst of the war in Ukraine.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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