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Price of Georgian skies2010-07-15 17:00
One prudent deputy can save Georgian sky: the air traffic department is now almost out of the list of non-privatizable facilities to follow North-South pipeline that Georgians immediately started defending from eventual purchase by Russian Gazprom. Now they sleep badly at night thinking that Russia will want to buy the sky of Georgia.
It's not the first time that Georgian opposition has risen to defend state interests or the current government will be quick to turn all state property into cash.
Yesterday some caring hand crossed out the air traffic control and management system out of the list of unprivatizable facilities. It was crossing out, not erasure. But after North-South gas pipeline vanished from the list the opposition was on alert.
It was Guram Chakhvadze, leader of Nationalist Democratic party, who saw the "black mark" and hit the target: Lasha Tordia from the parliamentary majority confessed the government was really discussing the sale of the aviation system. The information, however, was not confirmed by parliamentary secretary in government Giya Khuroshvili. The truth will be revealed in a new draft law on facilities not subject to sale that would be presented for second reading in parliament upon adjustment. Keep an eye on the announcements, as it is said.
A few days ago deputies were taken aback with projected sale of the gas-main pipeline that connects Russia with Armenia and Iran. The opposition was terrified: what if monstrous Gazprom arrives to engulf the important transit section? No one in Georgia had any doubt that the Russian state-owned corporation would want to buy a share in a piece of pipe in the territory of the hostile state.
However, in an interview with GeorgiaTimes Russian experts pointed to drawbacks of the potential offer. It is a highly risky investment to buy 10-20% of the pipeline's shares on condition that the state governed by unpredictable Mikheil Saakashvili retains the control stock. Such a proposal yields more trouble than gain. . http://www.georgiatimes.info/articles/37956.html
Nonetheless, the pipeline privatization scandal has been in the press for already a week. It is clear why. Georgian people were deceived more than once. Suffice it to remember the government's secret signature of a memorandum on Inguri hydroelectric plant management by specialists of Inter RAO UES (Russia). The document remains classified despite the opposition's petition to the court to declassify state secrets.