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Russia saves Georgians from poverty2010-07-13 19:11
More and more Georgians now seek asylum abroad fleeing Saakashvili's administration as estimated by the UN Supreme Commissariat for Refugees, not by Russian experts. Judge for yourselves: 5454 people left a free and democratic Georgia in 2008, in 2009 the figure was 10945. Now this country is among "honorary" ten states whose citizens more often seek asylum abroad. According to the number of potential emigrants Georgia ranks first.
Emigration from the country is the main index of the country's well-being. Is there any information that Swiss citizens flee the country or that Germans seek refuge in Ukraine? Georgia is a different story. Official authorities proclaim prosperity while common Georgians go to Russia for a living. Ubi bene ibi patria, a Latin saying for "a home is where it's good" harking back to Plutus comedy by Aristophan, a Greek playwright (445-385 BC) that has this phrase: "Where it is well, there is the fatherland" usually quoted as a motto of a cosmopolitan consumer deprived of public spirit and self-respect. Here, it is a different story.
Hardship is the main reason why Georgians seek work in Russia. Saakashvili's attempts to deceive Georgian people will soon crash since Georgians whose lives are getting still worse will one day be sick and tired of getting ready for a war with Russia. Then they will turn to the one who has been lying all that time.
Current economic situation in Georgia is close to critical. All declarations on "Saakashvili's economic miracle" are nothing but a myth. According to the National Bank of Georgia the country's joint external debt in 2009 arrived at 80.3% of GDP or USD 8,631 bn with USD 2,7 bn as the public debt, USD 0,9 bn as the National Bank's debt, USD 1,6 bn as the debt of the banking sector, USD 2,1 bn - companies and USD 1,3 - others.
Over 2009 Georgia's joint external debt grew by USD 1,3 bn. Each Georgian citizen now accounts for nearly USD 3,000 of foreign debt. Stoppage of massive aid by international financial institutions will lead to total collapse of Georgian economy. It is getting harder and harder for Tbilisi, an anti-Russian outpost in South Caucasus, to attract investments.
Over the past few years Georgia has lost the Russian market almost completely. Its traditional exported goods (wine, Borjomi, citruses, tea) have not found markets in CIS or far-abroad countries. Georgian minister of finance Kakha Baindurashvili told some time ago that "it would be good to return a market for sale of goods in Russia".
According to official statistics, unemployment rate in Georgia is now 16.9%, rising by 0.4% as compared to last year. So where should a poor Georgian go? To Russia, of course!
There are over a million Georgians residing in Russia on official basis with another half a million as illegal emigrants. For some of them working in Russia is the only source of subsistence. For others - a space for wide business. All of them have families and friends back in the motherland. According to the Congress of national communities in Russia, USD 1-2 bn are annually transferred to Georgia. This are official figures of bank and postal transfers.
In autumn 2006 when Russian-Georgian relations grew tense for the first time, law-enforcement authorities made a through cleansing of restaurants and gambling centers controlled by the Georgians. A lot was written about it. Though very little was said of a large-scale operation carried out by the Interior Ministry's economic security department of Russia as a result of which a powerful financial flow to Georgia was cut off.