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How much do elections in Georgia cost?2011-11-10 21:52
With presidential and governmental ratings crashing in Georgia, the authorities start feeding people with vain promises over the state budget draft for 2012 now under discussion in parliament and between ministers. Mikheil Saakashvili's spokesperson Manana Mandzhgaladze reported on a GEL 232 mln increase, as expected. The fact does not seem surprising in the run-up to elections. This year's focus on "insurance of pensioners and increase in pensions" does not look astonishing either.
Georgian authorities have nothing to boast of. The systemic crisis in crucial sectors of economy has not been overcome, unemployment rate beats all records, and inflation isn't decreasing. Yet, it's a pre-election time now, and the population must be given a justification and reelect. All is good when choice is poor, so officials have to resort to rhetoric Georgians are sick and tired of: next year will be better. To prove that, here is a new state budget draft now under consideration in parliament. Mikheil Saakashvili's spokesperson Manana Mandzhgaladze used all her eloquence to present it in brightest colors.
"We will consider several main parts of the draft. We will touch on practically all spheres starting from agriculture, projects planned in educational and energy spheres, up to regional infrastructure. 2012 budget complemented by the 10-item plan presented by the government stipulates further progress, modernization, and the main purpose of the authorities is to solve the problem of unemployment", - Saakashvili's press speaker announced. Well, what is there to say? Good that the document envisages the country's progress, not regress. Knowing how concerned the presidential camarilla is about their own prosperity, this could be an option too. It is not incidental that Zurab Melikishvili in charge of the finance and budget committee of parliament came up with the above-mentioned plan, Georgi Targamadze, leader of the Christian Democratic oppositional faction couldn't refrain from sneering. He reminded Mr. Melikishvili of a widely advertised program "Georgia without poverty" that, when launched, accelerated impoverishment rates to a large extent. Also, when the budget draft was heard in parliament for the first time Targamadze pointed that all attempts of governmental officials to make it look oriented on Georgia's top economic issues, i.e. collapsing agro-industrial complex and exaggerated unemployment, are nothing more than demagogy.
"Though we hear the president claiming we have an agrarian government the draft in question results anti-agrarian. I would like to remind of the IMF's recommendation that at least one percent of GDP must be spent on the agrarian sphere", - the Christian Democrat remarks. According to him, the budget draft provides for nearly one third of the amount the IWF recommends to be spent on the agro-industrial complex.
"Our opinion is that the 2012 budget does not stand challenges the country is facing now, i.e. poverty, high prices and unemployment,"- Georgi Targamadze said.
In order to convince compatriots that it is not true, Manana Mandzhgaladze made use of astoundingly big figures.