21 Aug 2009 15:08

Georgian authorities sack economic development minister


Georgian authorities sack economic development minister

TBILISI. Aug 21 (Interfax) - Georgian Minister of Economic Development Lasha Zhvania will be removed from office, Prime Minister Nika Gilauri said on Friday at a briefing which focused on the government's performance in the first half of 2009.

The minister's resignation has been approved by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, he said.

A candidate's nomination will be submitted with the president over the next two weeks, Gilauri said.

As for the results of the first half of this year, the economic development ministry was the worst performing, the prime minister said. "There are many problems in attracting foreign investment, in privatization. In [the first half of] 2009, only 15 million lari were received instead of the planned 77 million. I am not pleased with how the minister and the ministry in general worked. He will have to vacate his office," Gilauri said

The ministry is not coordinating its work with other governmental departments, he said.

Zhvania was appointed as minister of economic development on December 10, 2008. Before that he led the Georgian parliamentary committee on foreign relations. In 2005-2008, Zhvania served as Georgia's ambassador to Israel and Cyprus, and in 2003-2005 he was a deputy foreign minister.