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Georgia has never been in a situation like this before2010-08-18 10:56
A phrase by Georgia's former president Edward Shevardnadze that a social explosion is coming has reached news agencies with an incredible speed. The statement sounds loud but nobody in the republic will listen to the predictions of the "old fox". For some social problems are not a novelty, others are going to send the social resentment in a political direction.
"The authorities must think well: the situation is alarming from the social point of view, people can go out onto the streets", - Edward Shevarnadze said hitting the target. The government seems to have lost their minds starting persecutions against small sellers and evicting refugees now that common people hardly manage to get by.
"Nearly half of Georgia's population is unemployed, and unless a spark of hope appears, a rebellion can begin", - the honorary pensioner foretells.
GeorgiaTimes interlocutors take his words critically. Lasha Chkhartishvili of the Conservative party that has been rallying with people for almost a month already says that Shevarnadze should go to jail instead of inviting trouble to Georgia. As for rallies of the sellers and first-wave refugees from Abkhazia, Chkhartishvili promises to fix their problems peacefully without a social explosion. For instance, sellers can be offered nice working lots outside marketplaces.
The Republican Party that is almost totally on holiday sees no reason for riots in the near future. Even if they take place it will be part of a civilized political process, David Zurabishvili, a member of the national committee of Republicans thinks. Current rallies don't put him on guard:
- It is not for the first time that it happens. Usually it takes place in August, after elections. Refugees get evicted, something gets sold or privatized. I don't think this will cause public reaction. Still, all this gets accumulated to end in serious unrest.
- According to Shevarnadze half of Georgia's population is unemployed. Official unemployment rate is 16%. What's your figure?
- Sixteen sounds ridiculous. Sure, the unemployment rate is much higher. Firstly, not everyone is registered. Secondly, whom do they consider as unemployed? For instance, any person here that owns a property in the countryside and a garden is not considered as unemployed - they work in agriculture.
- Mikheil Saakashvili is constantly launching new enterprises repeating that starting up a business is not a problem. Does it mean that the number of the unemployed is really going down?