July 12, 2018 / 5:54 AM / in 10 months

Georgian PM appoints new finance and economy ministers

TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia’s Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze appointed Giorgi Kobulia as economy minister and Ivane Machavariani as finance minister on Thursday as he forms a new government after taking office last month.

Kobulia is a former senior partner at Mackenzie investment management company, while Machavariani worked as a financial and commercial director at Georgia’s Geocell telecoms company.

Bakhtadze, who had served as finance minister since November 2017, became prime minister last month, succeeding Giorgi Kvirikashvili who resigned in June amid a disagreement with the leader of his ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the richest man in the ex-Soviet republic.

Most of the other ministers remained in their positions, the premier said.

The new cabinet is likely to be approved by parliament, which is dominated by members of the ruling party.

On taking office Bakhtadze said he would continue the country’s path to full integration with Europe, as well as its economic reforms.

He also said the government planned to reduce the number of ministries to 10 from 14 to cut costs.

Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Susan Fenton

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