COVID 19 weekends – who is resting in Georgia?

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Economists attributed the holidays to the fact that the economy was significantly reduced in January. Experts note that the West does not claim universal “rest” – they consider such a fight with COVID 19 as a damaging “lock” there.

The suspension of the working process in the Parliament of Georgia, where the discussion of the most controversial bills of the last weeks was to start on May 4, became the subject of a heated discussion.

The state “holidays” related to COVID 19 have been announced in Georgia for the second time. It was for the first time at the beginning of the year, from January 3 to 15; And this time, from 4 to 11 May. However, May 12 is also a holiday in Georgia and, consequently, the holiday period is extended for another day.

  • May 4-11 are government holidays Resolution # 175 Accordingly declared;
  • May 12 is a holiday – the Day of Remembrance of St. Andrew the First-Called, the founder of the Georgian Church as the Apostolic Cathedral – St. Andrew the First-Called, in 2019, is the Day of Hope for the Assumption of Georgia to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Certain Exceptions In addition, almost all state structures are closed until May 13, and according to the government, the holidays also apply to the private sector. However, the trade and restaurant sectors affected by the pandemic continue to operate normally, with already limited schedules.

Experts tell us that the luxury of using the holidays at this stage is mainly in the hands of government agencies, as their employees are guaranteed a monthly cut salary and have nothing to lose during the holidays, under conditions of continuous income.

What is happening in Parliament?

On May 4, the suspension of the working process in the Parliament of Georgia became a hot topic of discussion, where according to preliminary information, the discussion of the amnesty projects initiated by the government and the opposition in connection with the events of June 20, 2019 should have started on May 4.

As Georgian Dream was told by Radio Liberty, no bureau meetings, committee hearings or plenary sessions will be held during the holidays; Well, MPs “If necessary, for example, they go to the parliament to meet with the media and individually continue to work on current bills.”

Parliament did not continue to work on this weekend as part of an extraordinary session, as happened during the holidays announced in January. A committee was held in January Sessions too And extraordinary Plenary sessions as well. On January 5 and 11, Parliament approved about ten bills.

In addition to the amnesty law and the package of amendments to the criminal law, the following bills were also approved, for example:

  • The Bill “On Change to the Law On Service Fees and Deadlines for Services Provided by the Service Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia – a Legal Entity under Public Law”
  • The Bill “On Change to the Law On Public Legal Management Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia – Public Security Management Center” 112 “,
  • The Bill “On Change to the Law On Georgia on the Types and Terms of Services Established for Acquisition and / or Issuance of Documents Preserved in the Archival Fund of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia”
  • “On Amendments to the Organic Law of Georgia” Local Self-Government Code “,
  • The Bill “On Change to the Code of Spatial Planning, Architectural and Construction Activity of Georgia”
  • The Bill “On Change to the Law On Energy and Water Supply”,
  • “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Georgia”.

Why not work on these weekends? Responding to criticism from opponents, Georgian Dream lawmaker Sozar Subari said on May 4 that the opposition in parliament had never worked and was a day off. “Be sure, they will enter the Parliament twice and the holidays will start for them again” – Subari said about the part of the opposition that has just entered the parliament.

On April 16, when the government announced a holiday decision, Amiran Gamkrelidze, head of the National Center for Disease Control, said that holidays were a way to reduce people’s mobility and stop the spread of the virus. “In general, mobility is one of the levers to stop the deteriorating epidemic situation.”

Although strict bans are periodically enacted in almost every country in the world, experts note that announcing long public holidays is a practice used by less developed and “authoritarian” countries.

  • Russia has declared a public holiday again for Easter, and on the orders of President Putin, people are allowed to go on holiday from May 1 to 10;
  • The heated debate in Germany has led to the idea of ​​extending the Easter holidays by 2 days. As a result, Chancellor Angela Merkel reversed the decision and apologized for the countless initiatives.

“Georgian Dream” is pleased to slow down the political process … The government is pleased to prolong, prolong the process and say at the end of this or that decision – oh, I can not attend and whatever it is … The Georgian Dream is calm, its election base It does not change – it more or less helps this base with social transfers, nor does it worry that small and medium-sized businesses are dying and people are fleeing abroad. ” – Former MP, politician and healthcare expert Zurab Chiaberashvili tells Radio Liberty.

Against the background of the delayed vaccination, Chiaberashvili calls the need to announce the holidays a sad fact, because this forced step to reduce mobility, in his opinion, is the result of wrong actions:

“Currently, the mobility rate is really high and, according to our world in data, even exceeds the pre-pandemic situation. The need to impose coercive restrictions to keep people at home suggests, for one thing, that there is neither proper trust nor proper communication between government and people, and that coercion remains the only tool for government. In countries where people trust the government, people there, according to the relevant recommendations, think for themselves what kind of behavior is needed at the moment. “

Who thinks about economics?

According to the statistics of January 2021, the Georgian economy shrank by 11.5%, and this figure was linked by one of the economists to the holidays announced on January 3-15. Ramaz Gerliani, an economics expert, expects a drop this time as well, because, according to him, announcing such holidays causes a significant decrease in economic activity, and then this will be reflected in the result:

“The country was already half-locked, the curfew is still in force and now we have added these holidays … This two-week lock-up will definitely bring negative results. Business will become inert – transport does not work and not everyone has access to individual transport and taxis because of the additional costs involved.

Customers are not added to shopping malls or restaurants when travel is restricted … This type of vacation is good when all choices are freely available. These holidays are supposed to be a way to save time in the fight against pandemics, but it is very hard for the economy. ” – Guerliani tells Radio Liberty.

According to him, the government is calm, because it is very unlikely that “people in Georgia will protest against the economic problems and take to the streets.”

Who is not affected by the May holidays?

The joint order of the Ministers of Health, Economy and Agriculture of Georgia on April 23 (№01-39 / n / №1-1 / 165 / №2-529) lists enterprises and activities that are not affected by the holidays. The compilation of this list was entrusted to these three ministries by Government Resolution # 175.

The list includes:

  • Institutions providing primary health care and inpatient care.
  • Those providers of medical activities that implement Covid-19 management measures, including prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, regardless of the source of funding.
  • Pharmaceutical activity.
  • Specialized 24-hour care facilities and mobile groups of the State Program for Social Rehabilitation and Child Care, Homeless Child Shelter Sub-Program.
  • Production / distribution, sale of food / animal feed.
  • Road freight shipments.
  • Rail and air transportation.
  • Port, airport and navigation services.
  • Postal and courier services.
  • Water supply activities, electricity generation, electricity and gas transmission, distribution, supply and trade. As well as oil and gas extraction operations.
  • Legal entities and individuals of public and private law responsible for the services related to the mandatory quarantine of persons, transportation, food, cleaning, security and creation of appropriate conditions during the quarantine period.
  • Rescue activities.
  • Oxygen production-supply activities. 14. Enterprises with a continuous technological cycle (enterprises where it is impossible to stop operations due to their technological nature).
  • Funeral activities.
  • Metallurgy, mining industry, entrails enrichment works, as well as other necessary activities necessary for the complete and safe implementation of these works.
  • Waste management.
  • Activities related to the entities within the system of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia and the entities under the management of the Ministry, as well as the infrastructure projects to be implemented by the municipalities.
  • Production, processing, distribution, sale of food / animal feed, veterinary preparations, agrochemicals.
  • Provision of agricultural services.

According to Government Resolution # 176, the holidays do not apply to “persons under the supervision of the National Bank (except for the accountable enterprise, which is not under the supervision of the National Bank) and on their financial obligations to them” and “On State Procurement”. “On Activities Related to Public Procurement provided by the Law of Georgia”.

Also, public institutions could designate subordinate services / employees who could not take advantage of the days off.

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