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EU: deporting illegal aliens from Georgia

2010-12-08 13:01

The strategy of refugee resettlement envisages transfer of most people to Western Georgia. Ekho Kavkaza radio presented a series of programs about how it was done in a village where a few dozens resettlers moved in. It was expected that nearly 200 refugees from Tbilisi would move to Potskhoetseri village near Zugdidi. Presently nearly 30 really miserable people live there. It took them a while to realize that they had been thrown out of town into the village with no roads, schools, hospitals, no green grass even. As a protest they threatened blocking roads leading to the country's largest hydroelectric power plant on the Inguri river. They were offered accommodation in decrepit Soviet houses that look like cottages. There are new plastic windows but no

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utilities. It's impossible to vent the pipe of an ordinary wood burning stove out of the window, as usual. That means village settlers will have to suffer from a cold and humid winter, typical at the Black Sea coast.

Troubles of people in this village can be a long story but the conclusion is already obvious: Georgia is not a state able to solve problems of resettlers.

Speaking about the current situation Tbilisi had no choice: to facilitate access for business community, journalists and students to Europe, a readmission agreement had to be signed. Without it the EU won't agree on visa regime facilitation with other states.

What Georgians have to do now is pray that European migration services are not very active looking for illegal aliens.

A readmission treaty is a bilateral document basically stipulating that European countries will have to pay for the return of their guest workers from Georgia. But there are almost none of them in Sakartvelo. At the same time only a bunch of Georgians have a legal status in Europe. Over the past two years only 16,000 citizens of Georgia have filed official applications for admission in various states. Poland tops the list with 4,183 Georgian citizens who submitted documents to the country's authorities. Greece ranks second (2,170 people) and Austria ranks third (976). Georgia is in the top ten of the countries whose citizens seek refuge abroad. For many Georgian emigrants Russia is the final destination. According to the Federal Migration Service data, in 2009 most asylum applications were filed by citizens of Georgia and Afghanistan. Over the past 15 years over 28,000 Georgian citizens have been granted Russian citizenship. As we see, despite large-scale economic reforms, people of Georgia prefer going abroad. Politologist Mamuka Areshidze doubts Georgia's ability to admit all compatriots. "There are no technical possibilities. These are several hundred thousand people, and there is no chance of readmitting them here now. On the other hand, this mass deportation is hardly possible. Except for gypsies in France, Europe has no history of mass deportation. So let's hope that Georgia will be able to admit part of the citizens coming back from the European Union", - Areshidze said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.

Here is good news: Ukraine plans to facilitate visa regime for Georgian citizens. Soon Georgians will be able to stay in Ukraine for a year without a residence permit. Surely, Ukraine is not like Europe but it is much easier to find a job there. Illegal aliens from Georgia had better not wait to be deported and buy train tickets to Kiev.

Anton Krivenuk

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