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article imageGeorgia PM reshuffles cabinet

By AFP     Nov 13, 2017 in World

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Monday announced a cabinet reshuffle and merger of several ministries in a bid to reduce red tape and the cost of running the government.

"Time has come to change government structures in order to form a more effective state apparatus and reduce bureaucracy and administrative expenses," Kvirikashvili told a news conference.

The total number of ministries will be reduced from 18 to 14, he added.

Finance Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili will be appointed economy minister, replacing Giorgi Gakharia, who will become interior minister. Meanwhile the current head of the Georgian Railway state company, Mamuka Bakhtadze will become finance minister, the premier said.

The change will require the entire cabinet to step down and face a fresh vote of confidence in the parliament, which is currently dominated by Kvirikashvili's Georgian Dream party.

Kvirikashvili has long been under fire from the opposition over inflated bureaucracy and wasteful government spending.

"The proposed change makes no sense as there is no reduction in administrative expenditures in the recently adopted state budget," the leader of the opposition European Georgia party, Giga Bokeria, told AFP.

"The Georgian bureaucracy has grown by some 10 percent over the last five years and the government's running costs are constantly going up and have reached three percent of GDP," he said.

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