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Visa liberalisation has raised the terrorism threat and forces Georgians to leave their country

Summary of Disinformation

About 35,000 people left Georgia. We are not arguing about numbers, as some mention 30,000. Double that number of Iraqis and Syrians arrived from the Asian countries, where the terrorism threat is high. These people establish themselves in our country, in our motherland, where a Georgian could not find happiness. Georgians could not find happiness in Adjara, where Turks have been given everything… Then, Georgians could not find happiness in Kakheti, too, where Iranians are dominant instead of Georgians, who can also develop business, process land and create production. Georgians, thus, leave their homes and it directly relates with visa liberalization and all this process, because people are leaving our country.


No evidence given, recurring disinformation about the visa liberalisation with the EU https://euvsdisinfo.eu/disinformation-cases/?text=visa+liberalisation&disinfo_issue=&date=. Since the enactment of visa liberalization (March 28, 2017) until October 20, 2017, in total, 160,000 citizens of Georgia benefitted from visa-free travel. After the expiration of the 90-day term, up to 10,000 citizens did not return to Georgia. This number does not encompass merely those citizens who chose to stay illegally. It also includes those, who:

  1. Own a residence permit in one of the EU countries or a double nationality;
  2. Received the right of a prolonged stay in one of the EU countries after benefitting from the visa free travel (i.e. students, asylum-seekers);
  3. Travelled from the EU countries to third countries (i.e. Ukraine, Belarus) and did not return to Georgia from the latter.

Moreover, the visa liberalization topic is often connected to a false claim that it will empty the country and lead it into a demographic catastrophe. Discussing the visa-free travel in Schengen zone countries from the demographic perspective is manipulative, as visa liberalization for Georgia only concerns short-term visits to European countries, not free movement of workers. No links to increased risk of terrorism is being proven. Further debunking by Myth Detector http://mythdetector.ge/en/myth/two-lies-irma-inashvili-about-visa-liberalization-and-georgian-farmers.

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Reported in: Issue 100
Date: 20.02.2018
Language: Georgian
Country of Origin: Europe, Georgia
Reported by: East Stratcom Network
Keywords: Visa liberalisation, Terrorism, Migration crisis
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: TV Imedi’s program “Head to Head”
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