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Tbilisi to provide people with high voltage2011-02-09 22:00
Unprecedented growth rates in tourism industry and agriculture are favorites in Georgian government's PR-campaigns. The authorities are constantly feeding people with promises on billions of foreign investments to flow into Georgia heralding a new economic miracle. But money does not flow in, the population's credit of trust is quietly expiring, and new myths are offered on propaganda rotation. This time official Tbilisi turns the energy sector into a new generator of big countrywide hopes.
Curiously enough, this time it's not eccentric Mikheil Saakashvili or fabulous Vera Kobalia to proclaim the coming manna. The new prophet of Georgia's prosperity is energy minister Alexander Khetaguri. In an interview with Reuters news agency he told about his intention to raise nearly USD 3.5 bn investments in construction of more than 15 new hydroelectric plants.
"Construction of these hydroelectric plants will start in the next three or four years. Total volume of investments can reach USD 3.5 billion", - Georgia's main power engineer said.
The key word in Khetaguri's tirade is "can". Strangely enough, he stopped at three billion figure: in theory the volume of investments "can" reach one trillion. But it's completely another thing if it will. According to Soso Tsiskarishvili, an expert on economic issues, this is not up to this official to decide that. "I don't think that Georgia will decide how much will be invested in hydraulic power energy as well as ways to apply the money since it's Russian companies that own hydro energy systems here", - the Georgian economist told GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
USD 3.5 billion is a good amount. It is even very good for propaganda purposes since Georgia's overall GDP is nearly USD 10 bn. But there is one problem: three or four years is a too indefinite term for guaranteed and immediate impact on public consciousness. More specific and more tight schedules are needed. It seems Alexander Khetaguri missed this nuance in his interview. "Investments in construction of hydroelectric plants that is scheduled to start in 2011 will be more than USD 1 bn", - the energy prophet remarked.
Apparently, his ministry decided not to exaggerate with figures for everyone to see things clear. If 3-4 years stand for USD 3.5 bn, then one year stands for one billion. Actually, to manipulate people's minds it's not important to mention precise figures - just make calculations in billions. These are imaginary billions anyway.