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Georgia-Estonia: memorandum on idiocy2010-10-11 20:09
A delegation of Estonian parliamentarians was greeted yesterday in Georgia on their way to sign a memorandum on cooperation in regional self-administration and infrastructure. The guests from Tallinn also plan to study Sakartvelo's experience in high-altitude area management. Upon signature of the bilateral document Georgian minister for regional development and infrastructure Ramaz Nikolashvili stated that Estonia's experience in local self-administration and development of infrastructure is important to Georgia too.
Obviously, the small Baltic state covets Austria's and Switzerland's laurels of world's best ski resorts. High Estonian mountains covered with snow and blown by sea winds plus a comparatively low cost of living could become a new Mecca for European alpinists and other lovers of extreme hobbies. However, current difference in development of infrastructure and local institutions between Tallinn on one hand and Vienna and Bern on the other is too great. That is why it's little wonder that Estonian politicians want to know about Tbilisi's way to develop mountainous infrastructure since common Soviet past, similar institutional problems in economy and home politics, liberal values both countries share and strategic goals is what brings Georgia and Estonia
Active build-up of inter-state contacts in the post-Soviet space could be welcome and a future travel boom in Estonian mountains could be envied if not for one little "but" - the altitude of Estonian slopes does not exceed 300 m above sea level. Compared to 5,000 m peaks of Georgia's Caucasus they are nothing but a flat country.
Generally speaking, it is difficult to imagine two more different states - in terms of landscape and national character - as lowland phlegmatic Estonia and highland hot-tempered Georgia. That is why the interest Estonians show in Sakartvelo's mountainous institutions seem complete idiocy to a casual observer. Maybe, Georgia and Estonia get together for other reasons - not the local infrastructure problems? Maybe the signed memorandum is simply a declaration of more general guidelines of interaction between two regimes, also in the international arena?
Still, as it has been already said, it is very hard to imagine two more different countries. They are united by one thing only: their feverish hate for their former mother country - Russia. This is where Estonians lose their coolness and get very like their highland partners.