Irakli Gharibashvili: “We have done the most on this path, on the path to European integration, since the country restored its independence… We signed the Association Agreement, free trade, visa-free travel.”

Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement is a MANIPULATION.

Salome Samadashvili: “The only achievement of your government was signing those agreements, under very tastelessly selected music, which your predecessor government worked on.”

Verdict: FactCheck concludes that Salome Samadashvili’s statement is a MANIPULATION.

Analysis

On 18 November 2022, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili was summoned to the Parliament of Georgia by opposition MPs as part of the interpellation rule. In his speech, Mr Gharibashvili stated that the Georgian Dream did the most in the process of integration with the West: “We have done the most on this path, on the path to European integration, since the country restored its independence. I would like to remind our opponents of several specific examples. The first major document, which is a guidebook and a reference book, is the Association Agreement. This was given to Georgia with delay because the previous government, in fact, started talks with a three-year delay. The visa liberalisation action plan was granted to Georgia only after we came to power. The previous government also started the visa liberalisation process with delay and, in fact, we signed the Association Agreement, free trade and the visa-free regime.”

Opposition MP from Lelo, Salome Samadashvili, responded to the Prime Minister’s statement. According to Ms Samadashvili: “The only achievement of your government was signing those agreements, under very tastelessly selected music, which your predecessor government worked on. I was always wondering why you picked shalakho when signing the Association Agreement.”

FactCheck verified Irakli Gharibashvili’s and Salome Samadashvili’s statements.

Speaking of Georgia’s approximation with the Western world, first and foremost, it needs to be emphasised that the successes achieved during the 30-year-long process of EU integration are the result of the continuous work of different governments and the will of the Georgian people expressed multiple times throughout this period. Therefore, Georgia’s successes are not related to specific parties and are above petty partisan interests or achievements. To put it simply, none of the ruling party (Union of Citizens of Georgia, United National Movement, Georgian Dream) should claim exclusive credit for launching the association process with the EU, the introduction of visa-free travel, signing the deep and comprehensive free trade agreement, deepening cooperation with NATO, etc. This is attested to by the lengthy process of moving closer to the Western structures which has continued despite the changes of the ruling parties (see FactCheck’s article).

Therefore, Irakli Gharibashvili’s aforementioned statement aiming to give credit to the Georgian Dream for Georgia’s successes on the path of European integration is a MANIPULATION. Although the Georgian Dream has indeed made its significant contribution in the process of integration with Western and North-Atlantic organisations, the Prime Minister omits the work of the previous Georgian governments which also made no less significant steps on this path. To portray such non-partisan issues as achievements of the ruling party is not only manipulative and completely out of context, but also undervalues the achievements of different governments acting in line with the request of the Georgian people. In this light, Salome Samadashvili’s statement which disregards the role of the Georgian Dream in the successes achieved on the path to European integration is also a MANIPULATON since it also omits the achievements of the Georgian Dream government prior to signing the aforementioned documents.


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FactCheck Newspaper
27%
True
17%
Lie
10%
Mostly True
10%
Manipulation
9%

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