The decision of Brussels to give the Georgians a free access to the Schengen area has caused excitement in Georgia and envy in Ukraine. However, the Georgian authorities were preparing a massive propaganda campaign – the citizens of the country will explain what they did not want to believe: a visa-free regime does not give them the right to work in the EU.
At a meeting in Brussels on Thursday the European Parliament voted for the abolition of the visa regime with Georgia, told TASS. At the same time approved and legal mechanism that will allow to quickly restore the visa regime of the EU with third countries. It is the lack of such a mechanism was previously known, the main reason, which prevented to give the people of countries like Georgia or Ukraine free access to the Schengen area. We will remind, earlier from the republics of the CIS visa-free regime first got Moldova.
“There is frustration. The implementation of this visa-free regime actually did not really give the ordinary man in the street”
The decision of the European Parliament caused a storm of emotions in the Georgian elite. A social network full of congratulations, usually strict Ministers and MPs even exchanged hearts. As passed by the correspondent of the newspaper LOOK in Tbilisi, Parliament of Georgia, observed that before the vote in Brussels at the monitor, drank champagne and ate cake in the form of flags of Georgia and the EU, were taking pictures of the EU flag.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced that he intends, together with representatives of youth, one of the first to take advantage of the new opportunity. “That, together with the representatives of our future generation is planned immediately after will involve visa-free regime, to go to Europe. Go together with young people from Kutaisi”, – promised the Prime Minister, without specifying which country.
We received the “keys to Europe”
On Thursday evening the festivities planned in the center of Tbilisi. EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos promised soon to arrive to Tbilisi to “celebrate together” bezviz. The friendship bridge will illuminate in the colors of the EU flag. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of energy Kakha Kaladze has published his photo on the background of flags of Georgia and European Union and wrote: “the Goal is achieved! A dream fulfilled!” Former member, Republican Levan Berdzenishvili told the newspaper VIEW: “Europe has always been our home. And now we got the keys to it.”
“But if you think about it, what are we celebrating? – says the newspaper VIEW political scientist Soso Tsintsadze, a former rector of the Diplomatic Academy. Yeah, well, what we didn’t, it’s a step in the direction of Europe. If refused, it would be a disaster”.
“You can say it is only symbolic effect, he continues. – Need details, clearly, lucidly, purposefully, to explain to our people that means a visa-free regime. Because, frankly, 80 percent of those who want to use it, try to stay in the EU to work. Today in Germany do not hide the concern of criminals from Georgia. As if in a few months, Western officials have started to complain to the Georgian tourists who do not want to return to Georgia. And if the Georgians will massively expelled, it is not far to suspend the visa-free regime”.
The former Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Nino Burjanadze (“Democratic movement”) said the newspaper VIEW that he welcomed “the decision of the European Parliament as a step towards rapprochement with the EU.” “But there are big risks – many of our citizens do not know the reality and want to go to work, especially given the difficult situation in the economy of Georgia,” she said. “In General, our priority should be the EU or NATO, and dealing with the problems of Abkhazia and South Ossetia”, – said the politician. According to her, this is impossible without a dialogue with Russia that “see in Georgia, all sensible people”.
“Made a very important step with which to congratulate the citizens of Georgia. Left technical procedures, since the decision of the EP was politically final. A month and a half, and everything should be completed. The document must be signed by the heads of the European institutions. Then it will publish the legislative Bulletin of the EU” – said Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic integration Victor Dolidze.
He noted that a large-scale campaign among the population about what is possible and what is impossible while traveling. He especially stressed that bezviz does not imply work or study abroad. “I ask the citizens of Georgia to consider it as something that the EU warned us, to avoid mass requests for asylum,” said the newspaper VIEW.
“Risks, of course, – he admitted. – When such a regime has received the Moldovans, they immediately rushed to Europe. But major challenges for Moldova is not created”.
By the way, the Minister said, when Moldova gained bezviz, many inhabitants of Transnistria decided to obtain Moldovan passports. Georgia hopes that just want to get her a passport in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. That “Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers” will also be able to use the new achievement, said the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili.
And now the residents of South Ossetia, if desired, can easily make the Georgian documents in the neighboring Gori, while Abkhaz in Zugdidi. How much they hold Georgian passports “quietly” unknown – data not. From the neutral documents, the proposed Tbilisi, the Abkhazians and Ossetians before, even under former President Mikheil Saakashvili, was a little confused – it did not. But health insurance programme, which was launched by the current government “Georgian dream”, it is very popular. Accurate statistics either, but eyewitnesses say that the Abkhazians and Ossetians are often now the Georgian clinics.
There are other, albeit rare, examples of “humanitarian” contacts. For example, several of the Abkhazians and Ossetians in the year before, called for the UEFA super Cup match in Tbilisi between FC Barcelona and Sevilla. Received them cordially. But in principle, the government of Georgia is not particularly energetically promoting such initiatives, not to tease in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, those who are opposed to any relations with the Georgians.
Moldova showed the opposite effect
The first Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs Konstantin Zatulin (“United Russia”) has reminded that “longed-for the abolition of visas” Moldova in the form of a bonus provided after the summer of 2014, Chisinau agreed to the creation of a free trade zone with the EU, however, this has led to the opposite of the national results. Recently the inhabitants of the country was elected President of the socialist Igor Dodon, who wants to return the country in collaboration with Russia, the Eurasian Union, abandoning free trade zone with the EU.
“Here you have the effect of a visa-free regime! For ordinary citizens of Moldova nothing for the better has not changed. In the spirit of propaganda is talking about you now go freely to Europe. Means that will live, as in Europe, and at any moment will be able to find a job there. And in fact, cancel visa-free entry implies essentially a simplification of the options available,” – said Zatulin newspaper VIEW.
According to him, the majority of citizens of both Georgia and Moldova on their income are not able to go on holiday to Paris or Monte Carlo. “By definition, this is a very small group of people. Everyone else who can’t find work in Georgia or Moldova, and wants to find it in Europe, this possibility still does not get it. It does not solve the problem of unemployment in Georgia and Moldova, from which these countries suffer. There is frustration. The implementation of this visa-free regime actually did not really give the ordinary man in the street”, – said the Deputy.
Recalling that Moscow until 2014, also led negotiations with the EU on visa-free regime, Zatulin noted that due to the lack of such a regime, our country has nothing to lose politically or economically. “The Russians, who travel to Europe, understand that they need a “Schengen”. There is trouble for this reason. These troubles will not be in case of introduction of a visa-free regime. Well, Yes, it is essential. But let’s not deceive ourselves. For the bulk of Russia’s population is not yet matter,” concluded Zatulin.
Meanwhile, in Ukraine the decision of Brussels was called, like, envy. First Vice-speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko has congratulated the citizens of Georgia on the abolition of visa-free regime, writing in his Facebook that the next – Ukraine.
But encouraged by the Ukrainians a steppe marmot Timka II, who lives on the biological station of Kharkiv national University. Karazin, who offered to make a prediction on the occasion of the international Day of the Groundhog. As writes “Rosbalt”, before Tim put two tablets. On one was written “Bezviz in 2017” and on the other – “Bezviz with a delay”. First, the prophet went to the second plate, but then was twice selected “Bezviz in 2017”. However, the Groundhog did not want to leave its hole, from there he forcibly dragged zoologists.