"You are bitter and full of envy" - Georgia PM spoke in Parliament against the opposition
Garibashvili’s speech in parliament
On November 18, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili was invited to the parliament by official request.
Several opposition MPs summoned Garibashvili in order to obtain information on the fulfillment of the twelve recommendations the European Union put forward to Georgia to become a member candidate.
The Prime Minister said that talking only about EU status all day is hypocrisy and the main problem now is unification of the country. Garibashvili also called the representatives of the Power of the People movement who broke away from Georgian Dream and launched strident criticism of Kelly Degnan. Garibashavili also discussed the previous government, attempts to draw Georgia into the war in Ukraine, and called for the depolarization of the opposition, which in the same speech he called “envious people and clowns.”
The Prime Minister left parliament without answering the questions of opposition deputies. Instead, he accused them of anti-state activities and said he was not going to answer their questions.
Here are some quotes from Garibashvili’s speech.
“The first of the twelve recommendations of the European Union is depolarization. That is, European leaders are telling you [the opposition] to stop this shameful rhetoric and manifestation of hostility towards your own country. What are you doing to at least de-escalate an already polarized environment?”
On the opposition:
● You are angry, bitter, full of envy — it’s terrible!
● I want to ask you a question: whom do you serve? I have not seen such a weakened, corrupt, degraded opposition in a decade.
● The only salvation, respected representatives of the opposition, is to elect the clown Khabeishvili as chairman [Levan Khabeishvili, a member of the main opposition National Movement party, is running for its chairman in internal party elections — JAMnews]. It’s a big challenge, but it is your salvation.
● We saw how the destructive opposition attacked the European Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi in a radical manner, how the opposition insulted a person who bore a positive message. What more evidence does society need? These people do not desire the success of the country.
● How dare you, Adeishvili’s former deputy [Zurab Adeishvili is the former prosecutor general in the team of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili], one of the main creators of that ugly, despotic dictatorial regime and system that killed, raped, tortured people, how do you allow yourself to come here and attack? This is just sabotage.
On sanctions against Russia:
● After the August war, Saakashvili personally met Russian tourists at the border and begged them to come in, and Merabishvili [Ivane Merabishvili – former Prime Minister of Georgia] said: “What’s the problem, Russian money doesn’t stink.” After that, who has any right to talk about sanctions?
On the recommendations and the status of the candidate country:
● We are working hard to fulfill the recommendations, but what are you [the opposition] doing?
● How do you imagine the future of the country without unification? All day you talk about status. Of course we understand. It will take years for our country to become a member of the European Union. This requires preparation. There is no need to be hypocritical and lie to people, as if something terrible will happen and the country will collapse if we do not get it. I agree that it is important. But I want to tell our fellow citizens that many countries have received candidate status and have been waiting for membership for years, nothing special happened in their case.
About the Power of the People movement:
● “These people, respected deputies, decided to create a separate independent movement and, probably, a party. It is their choice… How can one restrict the right of deputies to freedom of expression. I want to wish everyone success; we don’t interfere in anyone’s affairs.”
Regarding statements made about US Ambassador Kelly Degnan:
For me personally, this form of expression is unacceptable and I would prefer more moderate statements about the US Ambassador. If you have questions, then yes, let’s ask questions, but we cannot abandon moderation.
On “drawing” Georgia into the war:
● Ukrainian high-ranking officials directly said: “The current government of Georgia is not ready for war, but if Saakashvili were in power, there would be war.” What more proof do you need?
● They [the opposition] asked me to prepare charter planes and send volunteers from here to fight [in Ukraine]. The state had to issue permission for this. It was an attempt to draw us into the war directly, and it was designed to ensure that Russia responded adequately.
● If these people [“National Movement”] were in power today… they would turn our country into a testing ground.
Garibashvili’s speech in parliament