Spain supports Georgia’s aspiration to become a full member of the EU and NATO - the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation Josep Borrell said at a joint press conference held with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Zalkaliani.
The foreign ministers of the two countries highly appraised Georgia-Spain relations and Georgia’s significant progress on the path of development.
According to Zalkaliani, Spain strongly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while Georgia, on its part, reconfirms its frim position regarding Spain’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. David Zalkaliani provided his Spanish colleague with detailed information on the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories and underlined the necessity of peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The Ministers positively appraised an increasing level of business and economic contacts between the two countries, as well as the successful operation of Spanish companies in Georgia. In this context, the two ministers highlighted Georgia’s transit opportunities and favourable investment and business climate, which, along with Georgia’s good international ratings, provide ample grounds for the European companies to get interested in Georgia as a bridge between Asia and the Far East. David Zalkaliani also spoke about the importance of developing tourism in Georgia and learning from the Spanish experience in this regard.
While on the theme of EU integration, Zalkaliani highlighted the successful reforms ongoing in Georgia that make irreversible Georgia’s European integration. Special attention was paid to the EU Integration Roadmap – the Georgian Government’s recent initiative. According to Zalkaliani, Georgia is committed to make much more than required by the Association Agreement in order to achieve its ultimate goal – full-scale membership of the EU.
The ministers also reaffirmed that Georgia has all practical instruments for NATO membership. Georgia’s essential role in ensuring international security and stability was also highlighted.
David Zalkaliani invited his Spanish colleague to attend the Batumi conference this year, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the EU Eastern Partnership initiative.
The Government of Georgia strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Spain within its internationally recognized borders, and considers Catalonia an integral part of Spain. The Government of Georgia condemns the unilateral declaration of independence by Catalonia and supports the measures of the Government of Spain to restore law and order, to regulate the situation, and to uphold in this process the Constitution of Spain, the rule of law, and the rights of every citizen of Spain.
The Government of Georgia deeply appreciates cooperation with the Kingdom of Spain as a valuable partner of our country, with our strong partnership stemming from shared values and traditional friendly ties.
At today's Government meeting, the Prime Minister assessed his working visits to Spain and Davos.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili commended the unveiling of a commemorative plate honoring Georgia at the World Tourism Organization Headquarters in Madrid.
According to the Prime Minister, it is a great honor and recognition of the country's significant achievements and the Government's efforts in this direction.
"Quite interesting were our meetings with Spain's Prime Minister and Monarch, the sovereign head of state. We discussed numerous exciting directions in the relations between the two countries. We have nominated to the Office WTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, our Ambassador to Spain and Representative at the World Tourism Organization, who needs support, so we held a number of meetings to this end," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
The visit to Davos was assessed by the Prime Minister as very interesting. According to him, Georgia is keeping its finger on the pulse of global events, maintaining contact with its friends and partners.
"We held several meetings with heads of states, including an interesting discussion with EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti. Importantly, 2016 was a record-breaking years in terms of EBRD investments in Georgia-the largest amount of investments was made in Georgia, and plans for 2017 are even greater, heralding yet another record-breaking year. Their expectations are very positive," the Prime Minister said.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, very positive expectations were expressed by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in relation to global economic growth.
"We had very important meetings with representatives of the public sector and investors. Georgia is in the spotlight, being as one of the Eastern European countries considered by companies planning to expand in Europe, and we had a number of meetings in this direction as well. In this regard, especially important are Japanese companies taking interest in Georgia, which is commendable," the Prime Minister stated.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, meetings were also held with companies specializing in tourism, hospitality, and aviation and interested in the Georgian market.
"It has been a very important visit, and I am believe its multidimensional results will become tangible soon," the Prime Minister said.
On January 17-21, the Prime Minister of Georgia will participate in the International Tourism Fair and the World Economic Forum.
A meeting with Taleb Rifai (Secretary-General of the United Nations' World Tourism Organization) will mark the beginning of Giorgi Kvirikashvili's working visit to the Kingdom of Spain. Meetings are also planned with King Felipe VI of Spain and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain Mariano Rajoy. As part of his working visit to Madrid, the Prime Minister of Georgia, together with his delegation, will participate in the International Tourism Fair and visit the Georgian Pavilion.
In addition, Giorgi Kvirikashvili has been invited to attend a reception held on behalf of the King of Spain and the World Tourism Organization to honor the participants of the International Tourism Fair.
From Madrid, Giorgi Kvirikashvili will travel to the Swiss Confederation to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos. The slogan of this year's forum is Responsible Leadership, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution as its main topic. During the forum, the Prime Minister of Georgia will hold meetings with representatives of the global economic community. Under the working visit, high-level bilateral political meetings are also planned.
Within the memorandum between the Government of the A/R of Abkhazia and "FINSOL" Integration and Solidarity Foundation and organized by the Department of the IDPs Issues of the A/R of Abkhazia with the support of Gali Educational Resource Center 20 IDPs' adults from Abkhazia and Socially vulnerable families including children from the occupied territories of Gali have spent their 2 month holidays at Spanish volunteer families.
The children had opportunity learning Spanish language, tolerance, peace and the live in a healthy manner. Today, children were met by the Deputy of Head of IDPs' Issues of the A/R of Abkhazia, Giorgi Buliskeria, Head of Gali Educational Resource Center, Nona Shonia and their parents.
Government of the A/R of Abkhazia and "FINSOL" are cooperating since 2008. Thus, by their support IDP children spend their summer holidays in Spain annually.
Spain's acting Economy Minister Luis de Guindos on Tuesday proposed hiking corporate taxes to avoid a fine from the European Commission for repeatedly failing to bring government deficits into line.
"We are going to propose a measure regarding corporate taxes" that will raise six billion euros ($6.6 billion), he told a televised news conference in Brussels after eurozone finance ministers agreed to officially begin a sanctions procedure against Spain and Portugal
The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, will consider their arguments and must decide on sanctions within 20 days.
Under EU rules, the commission could impose fines of up to 0.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on eurozone countries that repeatedly ignore the deficit limits -- but to date it has not dared to use its full power.
In Spain's case the maximum fine could amount to nearly 2.2 billion euros, based on its 2015 GDP as reported by the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
De Guindos reiterated that he was "convinced" that Spain would avoid a fine because its economy had turned a corner and was posting steady growth after being hit hard by the eurozone debt crisis.
"It would be a huge paradox is the European economy which has had the biggest turnaround in recent years and which is growing the most and creating the most jobs...were to be fined," he said.
In the frame of a joint project of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and "FINSOL", Solidarity and Integration Foundation a group consisting of 20 socially vulnerable IDPs' children from Abkhazia together with those living in the occupied territory of Abkhazia at present, headed to Spain for holydays.
The children will spend next 2 months at volunteer Spanish families and will be involved in various cultural-educational programs as well. Before departure children participating in the program with their parents were met by the Acting Chair of Government of the A/R of Abkhazia, Vakhttang Kolbaia, Head of the Department of the IDPs' Issues of the Government of the A/R of Abkhazia, Konstantine Kuchukhidze and First Deputy Minister of Education and Culture of the A/R of Abkhazia Manana Kvachakhia at the Valeri Arkania Art Gallery and wished them happy holidays. The children were seen off early in the morning.
Government of the A/R of Abkhazia and "FINSOL" are cooperating since 2008. Thus, by their support IDP children spend their summer holidays in Spain annually. The project is organized by the Department of IDPs Issues of the A/R of Abkhazia.
The Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili hopes that Georgia will receive visa liberalization process until the end of September. According to him, the country was developed by the work of the new government but the citizens of Georgia should not request when they arrive in Europe, why Bidzina Ivanishvili didn’t build same type European country in 3-4 years.
“We have quit effective government. None of arguments Tabula or Rustavi2 can state that the country was more developed in the power of National Movement. A lot of problems we have in the region but Georgia can compete with any developed European country: Spain, Italy, Lithuania… We should be like Swiss in 4 years,”-Bidzina Ivanisvhili said.
The 2016 Europe Prize – the highest level of the Prize which is awarded each year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to the town most active in promoting the European ideal – has been awarded to the town of Girona (Spain).
Girona is very active in its many initiatives which demonstrate its strong commitment to Europe. It seeks to be an educational and solidarity-based city and supports projects to raise awareness among the local population of the causes of economic inequalities and to promote tolerance, dialogue, the values of a culture of peace and respect for human rights. Girona received the Flag of Honour in 1984 and the Plaque of Honour in 2013.
Four other towns, namely Bamberg and Sinzing in Germany, Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine and Lublin in Poland, were also shortlisted for the Prize, and their applications commended.
Created by PACE in 1955, the Europe Prize is the highest distinction that can be bestowed on a European town for its actions in the European domain. The prize consists of a trophy, a medal, a diploma and a scholarship to be spent on a study visit to European institutions for young people from the winning town.
Eight Plaques of Honour, eight Flags of Honour and 12 European Diplomas – which also form part of the Europe Prize – were also awarded. Full details here.