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Georgia clubs controversial 'proxy team'

Published on 2024-05-28 17.11

The protests were huge.

But the Georgian parliament has now voted on the highly controversial “Agents Law”.

– We call on the Georgian authorities to reverse this trend and return to the European Union path, says Josep Borrell, EU Foreign Affairs Head.

Georgia has now come up with a controversial “agents law”, international media report.

This was after the majority in Parliament overcame the president's veto. The resolution was supported by 84 votes to 4.

The law forces all organizations in Georgia that derive 20% or more of their income from abroad to be classified as “agents under foreign influence,” which brings increased scrutiny from the state and can result in hefty fines.

The law is expected to enter into force within 60 days.

President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili.

“It is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the European Union”

President Salome Zurabishvili has called it a “Russian law” and says it contravenes European standards. It is also seen as very difficult for the country's ambition to join the European Union. Protesters say this is also the goal of the ruling Georgian Dream party, which pushed the law.

Josep Borrell, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, expressed the Union's strong dissatisfaction with the fact that Georgia voted in favor of the law.

The European Union insisted that the law contradicts the fundamental principles and values ​​of the European Union, Borrell says in a statement.

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The Foreign Minister believes the law represents a setback for three of the nine steps in the country's candidate status – misinformation, polarization and basic rights of civil society.

Riot police and protesters in Tbilisi earlier in May.

'The police showed no mercy'

Aftonbladet newspaper recently visited Tbilisi when tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of the capital to protest the law.

-The police showed no mercy. I was subjected to tear gas and they used pepper spray and rubber bullets. But people have gas masks and goggles and we will stay until the end,” said David Alexander Kelland Torgvaidze.

After Tuesday's decision, protests are expected to continue outside Parliament.