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Georgians go to Russia for bread2011-11-25 12:18
Despite Mikheil Saakashvili's attempt to return emigrants telling them fairytales about attractiveness of Georgia last year, the population outflow actively continues. Remarkably, Georgians flee to Russia, now the world's leader in the number of migrant workers transferring their salaries to families at home in order to survive. When will official Tbilisi come to senses and stop biting the hand that feeds?
Never, it seems. At least, the abyss between Mr. Saakashvili and the Georgian society is so great now that it's getting harder and harder to view the president and his people as a conglomerate. While the leader of Sakartvelo is travelling about the country with his mobile government telling stories how wonderful life in Georgia is, citizens of the country are packing suitcases and set off in search of a better life. Most frequently they stay in Russia, which is not surprising. The country of "evil occupants" is a home for a huge Georgian diaspora that helps compatriots to settle down in a new place and find a decent living.
The number of foreigners coming to Russia is ten times larger than the number of those who return. The overall migration surplus is estimated at 228,000 with 207,000 coming from CIS countries. Besides, as to the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, on October 1 the country had 46,800 forced evictees and refugees. Over one third of these people were former citizens of Kazakhstan, one fifth - Georgians, Uzbeks and Tajiks.
Georgia, no more a CIS member, is a leader among far-abroad countries for the number of migrants coming to Russia. The first position is shared by Estonia - a country that has close ties with Sakartvelo, China and Latvia. If indeed friends are selected for similarity, it's natural that Tbilisi fails to find a common language with Moscow. Yet it should be remarked that migration from the Caucasian republic is becoming wide-scale also in connection with ethnic minorities whose rights are constantly infringed by the dominant United National Movement.
It's not a secret that foreigners make a generous contribution to economy, social environment and cultural inheritance of another country where they come to in order to fix their lives. Yet, this medal has a reverse side: migrants do make an economic contribution when they pay taxes to the state budget. But the problem is that newcomers and refugees mainly are not registered in the Federal Migration Service remaining illegal workers and taking all their incomes abroad. According to Konstantin Kosachyev, chair of the State Duma international affairs committee, Russia is the leader not only for the number of migrants equal to the population of a European republic - Portugal for instance.
The situation with the volume of transferred money is curious too. In 2009 USD 19 bn was transferred from Russia. This sum considerably exceeds state budgets of Georgia, Estonia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan amounting to 2% of Russia's GDP. Figures above refer only to banking transfers. And if the money guest workers bring home in their pockets is added up, the figure will be doubled. Yet, Georgian authorities pay no attention to these statistics. Instead they recall that after the embargo Moscow imposed on Georgia's mineral waters and wines, Georgian citizens were subject to severe deportation calling it violation of rights and bad behavior. When the European Union filled airplanes with Georgian illegal workers, Mikheil Saakashvili held his tongue all right.