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Conflicts: Thousands of Georgians protest against controversial law

Conflicts: Thousands of Georgians protest against controversial law

Despite warnings from the EU and the USA, the Georgian parliament has overturned a veto by the pro-Western president against a controversial law. This is now fuelling tensions in the South Caucasus republic.

Thousands of people in the South Caucasus republic of Georgia have once again protested against a controversial law to control foreign financing for civil society and media projects. The parliament in the capital Tbilisi passed the law on transparency of foreign money flows, which has been criticized as anti-democratic, despite protests and threatened sanctions from the West. The MPs thereby overturned a veto by the pro-Western President Salome Zurabishvili. She warned of the threat of “slavery” under the Russian enemy.

Pro-European forces criticize the law as a step backwards on the road to EU membership. The government under the nationalist Georgian Dream party, on the other hand, has refused to interfere in the country’s internal affairs. The USA and the EU have threatened consequences and sanctions if Georgia accepts the law.

Zurabishvili called on the demonstrators to focus their energy on collecting signatures for a referendum against the law. At the same time, she reminded them that a new parliament would be elected in the Black Sea republic on October 26 and that people would have the chance to get rid of the current government.

EU and USA invest in Georgia

The EU and the USA have long been funding large-scale projects to develop civil society in Georgia. The associated communication of Western values ​​of freedom and sexual self-determination runs counter to conservative forces in society, which is strongly influenced by the Georgian Orthodox Church.

The pro-Western opposition, on the other hand, criticizes the law as being Russian and fears political repression like in the neighboring country. It is compared to the Russian law against foreign agents, which stigmatizes and politically persecutes recipients of payments from abroad, including human rights activists, journalists and artists.

Prime Minister Irakli Kobachidze said Georgia’s goal remains to join the European Union by 2030. Sanctions or penalties do not deter the ruling party because it acts in the interests of the people and was elected, he said.

Source: Stern

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