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Georgian Government heaps praise on new Ivanishvili-linked hotel 

22 November 2023
From right to left: Georgian Dream chair Irakli Kobakhidze, Mayor of Tbilisi Kakha Kaladze, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, Speaker of the Parliament Shalva Papuashvili, and MP Mamuka Mdinaradze. Photo: Government of Georgia.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili along with the speaker of parliament, the leader of the ruling party, the Mayor of Tbilisi, and a host of ruling party MPs have flocked to the opening of a hotel in Tbilisi linked to Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili.

On Wednesday, Gharibashvili gave a speech at the opening of Paragraph Tbilisi in which he celebrated ‘a new paragraph in Georgia’s hospitality industry’. 

The Georgian Prime Minister went on to list some of the facilities available at the hotel.

‘I also want to emphasise that the hotel’s international-standard infrastructure, modern multifunctional complex, 220 rooms, and five restaurants of different categories, along with various spaces, all this allows the hotel to host top-level international events, business conferences, visitors, vacationers, our tourists’, the PM said.

Gharibashvili then praised Bidzina Ivanishvili, the billionaire founder of Georgian Dream. Despite claiming to have left politics, Ivanishvili is widely considered to hold sway over the government, something Gharibashvili and other members of the ruling party deny.

Georgia’s Minister of Reconciliation, Tea Akhvlediani, at the opening of Paragraph Tbilisi.

‘I would like to underline the role of the project’s main author, Mister Bidzina Ivanishvili’, Gharibashvili said, ‘and once again thank him for the implementation of such an important, remarkable project.’ 

‘Of course, I would like to reiterate the enormous volume of charity carried out by Mister Bidzina Ivanishvili-charity amounting to over $3 billion, and now hundreds of millions of dollars contributed to the development of our country’.

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Following the hotel’s opening ceremony, the Georgian Government made several posts on their social media channels about Paragraph Tbilisi.

The Georgian Government posted images of the hotel on their official Facebook page.

In a press release, the PM’s office again noted that the hotel included ‘220 rooms, five restaurants, with top-category spas on three floors, and hi-tech meeting and conference spaces’. 

One post contained a 14-minute video which included shots of the Georgian Prime Minister inspecting the hotel rooms, a small gym, a swimming pool, and a sauna.

  

Paragraph Tbilisi is among several tourism projects backed by the Georgian Co-Investment Fund (GCF). In previous years, one of those projects, Panorama Tbilisi, triggered the biggest resistance in Tbilisi. 

Ivanishvili founded the Co-Investment Fund, a private equity fund, in 2013, shortly before resigning as prime minister. Its stated aim is to attract and help implement large infrastructure projects in Georgia contributing to the country’s development.

Then–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili at the launch of the co-investment fund in September 2013. Photo: GCF/Facebook.

Several former employees of the Fund have gone on to take up government posts, including Irakli Karseladze, Georgia’s Minister for Regional Development and Infrastructure, who personally campaigned for the controversial Panorama Tbilisi project, and Davit Peradze, currently the director of the state-owned Georgia Railway company. 

Critics have also criticised the transfer of publicly-owned land to the Co-Investment Fund and its subsidiaries at symbolic prices. 

[Read more on OC Media: How and why a piece of central Tbilisi was sold for ₾1]

Read in Armenian on CivilNet