Tbilisi: The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, put forth his perspective of the Foreign Agents Law, which outraged the Georgian citizens, leading to widescale protests outside the Georgian Parliament.
As PM Irakli Garibashvili stated:-
“We’ve been through some really difficult, emotional days. Here again appeared the strength, strength and wisdom of the Government. I will try my best to honestly and frankly evaluate and share my kind of analysis with the public on how I evaluate these events.
It would be difficult for us to remember again where these events started, what led to what provoked these actions. Good to note that this is all about a bill we liked and supported – registering foreign influence organizations and ensuring their transparency and accountability. When this initiative on Foreign Agents Law was initially discussed in the team, we began exploring other analogies.
The first such analogy was an exemplary manual for us – USA, where this law has been in force since 1938. It has been modified several times since then, and refined, but this law is in effect and works.
We know other examples acting in several EU countries, UK working, Canada started and coincided just a few weeks ago when we were discussing this bill; a similar bill was initiated in the European Parliament.
The largest party, the EPP, was the initiator of this bill. What was the main purpose of this bill being discussed and then adopted? I won’t go into details, the MPs explained well the content and details of what was the purpose of passing this law, but I want to say one thing. Do you know that for several decades, many NGOs have been operating in Georgia. So many NGO’s are created every year, their activity is filled with big burrows. Their finances and activity are opaque.
On the other hand, we get daily calls from these NGOs for more transparency, which in itself is good. Our Government is considered one of the most transparent democracies in the world. We are number one in the world for budget transparency.
Our primary interest was: to protect the interests of our country’s national security.
Too much funding goes into NGO accounts – hundreds of millions of dollars they have received since the country gained independence. We demanded minimum level of transparency and minimum accountability to our society”.