TBILISI, July 2 (The Bulletin) — Remittances from Greece to Georgia have dropped by nearly a fifth this year because of the Greek financial meltdown, deputy finance minister Giorgi Kakauridze said on July 1.
Greece is a vital source of income for Georgia. After Russia, Greece is Georgia’s most important source of remittances.
“The situation in Greece will of course affect money transfers to Georgia, but remittances are already significantly reduced not only from Greece, but from other sources as well, so it will not have a significant effect on the Georgian economy anymore,” Mr Kakauridze told the Rustavi-2 television station.
Georgia, Russia and Greece are all predominantly Christian Orthodox countries.
Overall remittance flows to Georgia have fallen by 23% to $438m in the first five months of this year. Remittances from Greece were down 18% to $69m.
From Russia, remittances had fallen by 42% to $163m.
Greece has defaulted on an IMF loan repayment and it is holding a referendum on Sunday to decide whether to accept tightened bail-out rules. It’s banks have placed currency controls on withdrawals.
>>This story was first published on July 2 in the weekly Conway Bulletin newspaper. The Conway Bulletin is an independent newspaper which has reported on Central Asia and the South Caucasus since 2010.