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Thomas de Waal put the chill on Saakashvili2011-06-20 22:00
The British journalist and analyst Thomas De Waal, Senior Researcher of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, published a big material in the American magazine The National Interest in which he compared the crisis phenomena in the public life of two neighbour countries, Turkey and Georgia, uniting them on the principle of a one-party system formed in both countries. The Englishman mercilessly dissected the miserable state of the Georgian economy caused by the authoritarian political regime.
"This year Georgia has a relatively healthy rate of economic growth, but at the same time the unemployment level is stably high and the food inflation exceeds 30%. The formerly proud agricultural country now imports four fifths of its food. According to the results of last November's survey, one fourth of the respondents answered they missed money to buy food", - wrote the British journalist who had specialized in the Caucasian problems for many years. 30% inflation! Just this figure cancels all the statements of the Georgian authorities related to enormous economic success that Mishiko's buddies love showing off so much. According to the IMF criteria, such a rate of the national currency devaluation is considered hyperinflation which gives evidence of the
catastrophic state of the republic's agriculture. Thomas De Waal shows certain tact not specifying the unemployment figures which reached 17% even according to the official statistics. And in some regions of the country, e.g. in Kakhetia, the number of the unemployed among all the working-age population is 70%!
The Brit explicitly names the main reason of the permanent economic crisis in the country: the one-party system formed after Mikhail Saakashvili's rise to power and the authoritarianism of the head of state. And he immediately notes how it became possible: the only real success that the presidential clique can boast of was achieved in the area of propaganda.
"I passed several month working on a report named "Choice of Georgia" dedicated to the political processes in the country and was struck by the inventiveness of the ruling elite of Georgia in applying Western techniques and PR practices in order to occupy the position of the main player in the race for power, - writes the British expert. - In the case of Georgia what worries is the fact that the ruling elite do not only control the government and parliament but almost all the regional authorities. Besides, it has the support of the three main TV channels, and the judicial power is weak".
In the cities, notes Thomas De Waal, the United National Movement conveys the idea of the absence of any real alternatives to itself against the background of a disconnected and uncoordinated opposition using its own media. And in the rural areas the ruling party ably creates the image of an external enemy that hampers the economic development of the country, thus urging people to unite round them without rocking the boat. When poverty-stricken peasants have no money for the most elementary things, the pre-election promises to organize some public works so generously given by the ruling party's candidates guarantee them the support of people driven to despair.
In his material the British journalist tore to shreds the system that Saakashvili had been building all the years of his own power. But the Georgian mass media preferred to draw their public's attention to the relatively flattering comparison of the Georgian president with the ex Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.