Participants of a rally in Tbilisi. A banner reading: "I'm not a mouse to be locked up in a hole." Photo by Inna Kukudjanova for the "Caucasian Knot"

27 January 2021, 20:56

Analysts reproach Georgian authorities for manipulating quarantine amid falling economy

Oppositionists, activists and businessmen have held protests in Tbilisi demanding to cancel coronavirus restrictions. Authorities continue using quarantine measures for political purposes despite the fact that during the pandemic the Georgian economy has lost about 20 percent, analysts assert.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on January 23, participants in a rally in Tbilisi announced economic difficulties caused by coronavirus restrictions. Another action was held by employees of a fitness club in Batumi. On January 24, professionals of the tourist business took part in the action, demanding to open ski resorts.

Residents of Georgia perceive unemployment, high prices and the territorial integrity as more serious issues than the risk of coronavirus infection, a survey conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre has shown.

"The epidemic is now in the background, because, first of all, people have nothing to eat. In Tbilisi, they are still holding on somehow, but in provinces, children and pensioners are starving," Professor Giorgi Khukhashvili has explained.

During the 2020 lockdown, Georgia lost 18 percent of its GDP, Iosif Archvadze, an economist, has noted.

After the January 24 action, activists were fined by 2000 laris (about USD 606) each, said Lasha Chkhartishvili, a supporter of the Georgian Labour Party. Activists treated their fines as politically motivated.

The coronavirus-related restrictions in Georgia are too long and unjustified, Elena Khoshtariya, a politician, believes.

In his turn, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, Director General of the Centre for Infectious Pathologies and AIDS, has stated that if restrictions are lifted, a new coronavirus outbreak will follow.

This year, mountain resorts may not open at all, Shalva Alaverdashvili, the head of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Georgia, has stated.

Let us remind you that according to the Alliance of the Tourist Industry of Georgia, in 2020, due to coronavirus restrictions, more than 50,000 people lost their jobs in Georgia.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on January 27, 2021 at 07:24 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Beslan Kmuzov, Galina Gotua; Source: CK correspondents

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