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EU: deporting illegal aliens from Georgia2010-12-08 13:01
The European Union plans to make Georgia the "best" gift possible deporting half a million Georgians back home. This news was announced upon signature of an agreement on facilitated visa regime with the EU. For the country with low living standards and population of nearly 4 mln this repatriation will result in a humanitarian catastrophe. Forced mass return of Georgians from Europe may surpass migration waves in the aftermath of lost wars in the 1990s and the conflict in 2008.
Mass deportation of illegal aliens has a mysterious term - readmission. Signature of the readmission agreement precedes enactment of the facilitated visa regime treaty between Georgia and the European Union. In reality, no one knows for sure how many Georgians live in Europe illegally. As assumed, the figure is around several hundred thousand people.
Population of Sachkhere, a small cozy town in the north of Georgia split into several groups long ago: those who left for Russia, those who went to Tbilisi and those who went to Turkey or other European states. Recently it occurred to the town authorities that the former industrial center should be transformed into a traveler's getaway. Old Soviet-time apartment blocks were repainted, and colorful leaflets were printed featuring these houses. Taking a careful look at the pictures one may see that half of the apartments have no windows. Most citizens have long gone off in search of a living and presently reside far away from this place. Only the luckiest managed to find a lodgment in Europe. Now they send money they earn not only to relatives in Sachkhere but also to family members in other districts of Georgia. Mzia Kokelia literally prays for her son who sends her a money transfer from Germany on the 10th of each month without delay.
"In a bad dream I see him losing his job out there. He supports his family and the family of my elder son in Sachkhere. Everyone who has stayed depends on those who left", - Mzia Kokelia says. Her own occupation is selling home-made foodstuffs to Abkhazia. Most of the time she is out.
The problem would not be so serious if illegal emigrants were just turned out of Europe. Under the agreement, Georgia must provide for their safe return home and admit them ensuring basic accommodation.
Presently Tbilisi's experience of refugee adaptation is rather negative. All central Georgia is similar to Sachkhere town, where earning one's living is impossible. Return of such an army of people doomed to unemployment will lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.
Patriarch Ilia II has repeatedly called compatriots to come back home. Yet, it is unclear how they will survive here.
Georgian authorities are trying to solve problems of the refugees that live in the country, but they don't make much progress.