Government is doing everything and it must be recognized and covered correctly – Irakli Garibashvili to journalists
At 4 June press-conference Irakli Garibashvili criticized journalists and gave them certain advises. Prime Minister accused journalists in promoting National Movement policy and executing their orders and stressed that media is popularizing topics that are of priority for that specific party.
Garibashvili claims that quite often media outlets repeat National Movement accusations about nepotism. In this view he outlined TV-Company Maestro report about appointment of Garibashvili’s spouse’s aunt to a position in Dedoplistskaro Municipality Culture Service. Garibashvili clarified that this lady was fired when Bidzina Ivanishvili announced coming into politics and she was restored to her job after government changed. Prime Minister also criticized Information Center Kakheti Head Gela Mtivlishvili for the material circulated 3 June - „Feast at the expense of budget – GEL 2350 spent for hosting Tamaz Tamazashvili”. According to Garibashvili, Tamazashvili was not in that restaurant in Akhmeta; he accused the journalist in circulating lies.
Irakli Garibashvili did not answer several questions asked by Gela Bochikashvili explaining it that Mtivlishvili was asking questions prepared by the National Movement.
To Frontnews journalist question if whether or not government criticizing media can be counted as media oppression, Garibashvili replied that unlike the previous government, with the new government media is absolutely free and nothing can be said about any kind of oppression.
“Do you think we do not see or do not value freedom of media? I would like to have the right to sometimes express my opinion that your report or program was exaggerated or excessively biased. We also have the right to express our viewpoint. You should not count my statements as critics. I would like to one day see higher quality reports and programs, but nobody doubts that you are free today. I mean quality, objectiveness and truth. We came to power to introduce justice in the country and create fair society. With current attitude you (journalists) will not become participants and supporters of the given process, which is putting the country on the tracks of justice and building of fair community,” Garibashvili said.
At the press-conference Prime Minister ironically mentioned TV-Company Tabula several times. He also stressed that Government Press-Service statement on TV-Company Maestro 18 May Vakho Sanaia’s Report, in which the journalist discussed opposition inside the government party and internal political issues. According to Garibashvili, the journalist was not objective.
“You do not know what is going on in the regions and what the situation everywhere is. We are doing everything possible. All this must be seen and covered correctly. You should not be support a certain political party; I mean the National Movement, in circulating lies and creating tension in the society. These campaigns are aimed only at one target, to tense the society, have psychological pressure and make them believe in lies. This is what Saakashvili has been doing for years. You can just see what kind of programs one of the channels aired two years ago and what programs they are airing now. They have turned 180 degrees. If you listen to them, two years ago everything was blooming in Georgia and now, when we came into power, all of the sudden there are problems in the regions, there is no natural gas, there are no roads; that there the poor and hungry people in this country. This is injustice and you should not be part of it. I am saying all this absolutely sincerely,” Garibashvili said.
Garibashvili promised journalists to clarify the facts of non-publication of the crime statistics by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and non-provision of public information.