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Kobalia pulling carpet away from under the army’s feet2010-11-30 13:09
Georgian minister of economy and sustainable development Veronika Kobalia is back to flirt with the army. Her ministry puts the military settlement in Kodzhori village up to auction. Many wonder where the soldiers and officers now working on the premises will go. It is a rhetorical question: maybe they will be sent to Afghanistan in a crowd to have their 5 minutes of glory or a bullet in the head. The third option is to discontinue the settlement. The lady minister does not care for the future of the military men. Her top priority is to put more coins in her cracked thriftbox.
Already in September the military settlement faced cataclysms of privatization. However, the first auction, like the first fly, was bound to be a washout for Veronika Cobalia and her colleagues. Apparently, the overly exaggerated price (four hundred thousand dollars) scared potential investors away. Besides, it is unclear in what condition the houses and the land lot offered for sale are.
Ever-cheerful Vera decided to try her luck once again taking into account mistakes of the past. Bids of participants will be accepted tomorrow at 13.00. The auction will start the same day at 17.00 for the businessmen to have little time to think over their decisions, particularly when the economy minister puts forth all her charms.
10,666 square meters of land occupied by military settlement №1 in Orbealini street plus six buildings and constructions are now offered at one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. Making simple calculations it is easy to see that the sum is twice less than the one previously offered. This time Ms Kobalia is less greedy - good on her! But how about the miserable people who fell victims to the intensive privatization program pursued by Georgia's Ministry of Economy?
Quite recently the minister was proudly reporting on an oil processing plant sold at USD 15 mln. Sure! It's nice to ride about run-down airports of the country giving recommendations on radar adjustment or visit the Black Sea economic forum to help improve Ukraine's competitiveness, or smile at French businessmen that immediately show their interest in cooperation with Georgia. When she finds it too difficult to get rid of state property, it's great to sell it to other smart guys.
But what's the sense in buying the military settlement in Kodzhori? Is it a good place for a modern commercial center for rural people that want to become familiar with city lifestyle roaming about expensive boutiques? Or will the Ministry of economy and sustainable development move into these barracks since the ministry's building has already been put up for sale at USD 4 mln?