On July 5, 2017, an article in english written by Dimitri Dolaberidze and published by ‘Georgia Today’ news agency, entitled “Georgia's Visa-Free Regime: Disappointing Preliminary Results”, which discussed the negative consequences of visa liberalization granted to Georgia, was distributed on social media. High Criticism of the published material on Facebook resulted in the removal of the article from the website of the magazine.
An article with identical content and identical title – “Georgia's Visa-Free Regime: Disappointing Preliminary Results” – was posted on June 18, 2017, in Russian language on Dalma News and again on June 20 on the same website – but this time in Georgian. The same article was released on June 18 in Russian on Eurasia Daily website.
See the infographic
The article discusses the restrictions imposed on Georgia by the EU under the visa-free travel regime from a decidedly negative point of view. In particular, the duration of stay in a period of 180 days is delimited to 90 days and it precludes the right to work. The author of the article Gia Metreveli draws attention to the citizens of Georgia who work illegally in European countries and notes that they can not benefit from visa free regime. On this basis, the author argues that visa-free travel regime will have negative economic ramifications for Georgia.
The article is unsubstantiated and artificially connects economic issues with free travel regime in the EU countries. Free travel system, which took effect on March 28, allows Georgian citizens a short-term visit of 90 days in a period of 180 days chosen at will, to make way to the EU / Schengen member countries without visa.
On the 28th of March, 2017, Maestro TV's "Ckheli Khazi" subjected its viewers to congruent misstatement when its interactive question during the transmission - "Will visa liberalization have a positive impact on your family's well-being?" – when again free movement with Europe was forcibly associated with economic prosperity.
Misinformation and unsubstantiated opinions regarding visa liberalization have time and again been published before and after the introduction of the visa free regime.
Materials from "Myth Detector" are available on the following links:
- 4 visaliberation myths, Tv report is available here
- Myths and Real Facts about Non-Visa Rules - See the link
- Ada Marshania disseminates false information on visa liberalization - See the link
- Assertion that, visa liberalization will not bring tangible benefits to Georgian citizens is misleading - See the link