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Museful minister… of economic affairs2010-07-15 18:56
The new Minister of Economic Affairs and Stable Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia is going to reform her department under the slogan of "No nepotism". The epoch of appointing relatives to administrative positions is over: now the posts will be allocated depending on the candidates' qualification and professional skills. In this way, Vera might become a white crow in the Caucasus that has been known for its clan system for centuries. Will the young economy revolutionist be able to succeed in eliminating corruption? GeorgiaTimes correspondent put this question to member of the Fair Russia fraction of State Duma and Committee for Federation and Regional Policy Anton Belyakov and member of Republican party of Georgia Paata Zakareishvili.
member of Republican party of Georgia Paata Zakareishvili.
Vera Kobalia is young and beautiful; this undoubted fact was evidently a decisive criterion for the position she was appointed to by Mikhail Saakashvili. His formula that the government should be comprised of smart men and beautiful women is gradually taking real shape. Kobalia stated that her task is not only to get rid of corruption but to smoothly integrate Georgia into European Union and North-Atlantic Alliance by way of introducing western mentality in the Caucasus.
Such bold statement rather astonished the Georgian people and parliamentarians. Is it possible that the clan system and corruption were blooming in Georgia? For four years running, Mikhail Saakashvili has been assuring the whole world that there is no such problem in Georgia, and now the president's favorite has openly pointed at the vice.
The opposition has got a skeptic attitude towards the young minister, loudly expressing doubt as to her competence and considering her no more than a puppet to handle the mechanisms of the general system where there are only three chief persons: Mikhail Saakashvili himself, Minister of Internal Affairs Ivane Merabishvili and Minister of Justice Zurab Adeishvili. Oppositional leaders doubt whether Vera Kobalia may take the entire assigned responsibility in the current political issues. Will the Don Quixote in a robe be able to conquer the windmills of the system and get the better of the ill-wishers?
Paata Zakareishvili: I do no agree that the whole Georgia controls public life through clans, that is not true; still, in the regions, there is such a situation in the form of nepotism, which is, of course, not as deep as tribalism in Adzharia in Abashidze's time. I think she will be able to wipe it out in a small range but not in the whole of Georgia. They pretend that everything goes well. Let us see what will come of it. She has nothing to boast of except her beauty so far, and her service record speaks of nothing.