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Georgian pension pushes one to a dumpster2011-02-14 13:15
In 2011, the pension in Georgia not only grew up to 100 dollars promised by Mikheil Saakashvili but even increased by 25 percent. Such statement was made one of these days by economical expert, professor of Tbilisi State University Nodar Khaduri. A month ago, in the context of a TV bridge, the president assured the people that he remembered his promises. However, there is no pension fund in Georgia and there is budget deficit which has to be covered somehow. How can the old survive in a situation like this?
"If you live in Georgia or have been here you must have seen at least one person rooting through a dumpster against the background of perfect roads, wonderful nature, skilful police and comfortable service. As for me, when I see such a person I revert my eyes", - famous Georgian blogger Gela Vasadze wrote at the beginning of the year. An utterance about poverty is worth a lot if made by a person who recognizes Mikheil Saakashvili's many merits.
In these latter months, the number of people who are incapable of keeping body and soul together and who have to be rooting through dumpsters has much grown in Georgia. Pensions, salaries and supplementary benefits have gone down in value. There are no pensions as "accruals" in the working age in the country; neither is there a pension fund, Vasadze says. Having come to power, Saakashvili's government started paying money to pensioners directly by way of credits and selling out everything possible. Compared to a mess in Shevardnadze's times, the old have entered a relatively happy period. There was not much money but it is paid regularly.
When running for the second term of presidency, Mikheil Saakashvili promised to put an end to poverty and bring the amount of pension to 100 dollars. Considering the exchange rate at that moment, he was talking about one hundred and a half laris with the current pension of 70 laris. Each year, the government increased the retirement benefit by 5-10 laris. However, pensions remained at the same level since last year, while the national currency rate fell down and 100 dollars now equal 180 laris.
In average, an old-aged Georgian gets 80-85 laris, though there are "special" categories of citizens. These are former security officials, who are considered to be the agents of KGB-FSS and thus are paid ridiculous money, and those who resigned in Saakashvili's times. Their pension is 500-600 laris and they naturally do not complaint about their life.