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Alternative Union for Tbilisi2011-11-17 13:57
In a week's time Astana will host the European and Asian mass media forum. The diversity of political processes in republics whose representatives will attend the meeting is supposed to unite the journalist pool from many countries however strange it may seem. Naturally, the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is in the focus of attention as well as Vladimir Putin's initiative to reintegrate the post-Soviet space. Georgia's last hope is to accede to the EU.
After the collapse of the USSR many states got concerned over one issue: are they Europeans or Asians? With such countries as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenia it is all clear but Caucasian states are not unanimous over the matter. Finding itself at a crossroads as a newly independent state, Georgia had to reconsider the past and analyze its future. As it turned out, European integration is the only desire of Georgian authorities. Yet, dependence on EU donations does not take Tbilisi closer to Europeans for whom Georgians, albeit Christians, contradict conventional values of the continental union.
Search for a national identity was at its peak when Mikheil Saakashvili seized power with the help of his "rose revolution". He found Soviet ideology too narrow. Economic progress in compliance with IMF models yielded fruit. The trouble is that no one understands that the result won't last forever. When the time to pay back debts comes, Mishiko will have to do what the West will say with the fund's demands growing year after year. Yet, the Georgian president sticks to the ideals of Levan Berdzenishvili, a public figure and director of the National Library of Parliament saying that people of Sakartvelo are latent Europeans, though they don't know it yet being pressurized by "hostile realities" of the Socialist camp.
It is not easy to be on the verge of Islamic and Orthodox cultures. This is why Georgia, like a weather-vane, constantly changes directions from East to West and vice versa. Mikheil Nikolozovich decided to do the impossible and unite both cultures in his country mixing them in a Georgian kettle to mislead who is who and where they are. The fact that he rejects his Armenian roots is one thing. But when propaganda and obscure ideology of the president impose alien culture and lifestyle on citizens of the country - it looks like nationalism. If it were genuine Georgian nationalism, like that of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Mishiko could be referred to as a patriot. Yet, European civilization supposed to open doors to NATO for Georgia is alien to Tbilisi. It will never take root in the Georgian land of delight, laziness and care-free pastime.
Many states that were founded after the collapse of the Soviet Union are a failure both in political and economic sense. Short-term prosperity of the capital of Georgia does not provide the rest of citizens living outside the capital with jobs, good salaries and a decent pension. Just because it is not part of the IMF program Mikheil Saakashvili is idolizing. The Eurasian Union that Vladimir Putin plans to create if he returns to presidency in 2012 is the only hope of Sakartvelo and other countries like that.