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Illicit dealers instead of tourists for Batumi2011-05-26 13:34
So far it's hard to transform Georgia into an attractive place for foreign investments and have a competitive economy. Yet the money is still needed for visibility of efficient governance. As a result, the authorities decide to replenish the country's wallet by selling the rest of properties that can be interesting to foreigners. Batumi tops the list of assets to be sold out urgently. The government plans to put up the coastline of Georgia's most famous sea resort for sale.
The leaders of the republic plan to sell old-time buildings on the coast of Batumi. Many constructions that form the sea façade of the town have a status of historical monuments, but, as representatives of the government assure, it will be forbidden for new owners to change the exterior of the properties on sale. Among these facilities are the buildings of Supreme Council, National Bank, department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As the authorities claim, foreign investors acquiring Batumi's real estate will facilitate development of tourist infrastructure all over the region. Sounds precarious. Investments imply production development and new employments. Why are illicit dealers called investors? The only help they can provide to people strangled by unemployment is to hire them as domestic personnel to the houses of new owners. Yet, apparently, Saakashvili and his team do believe that creation of a competitive economy is exactly this: turning Georgians into service personnel inside the country.
As for the fact that the coast of Batumi will be attractive for speculators, it is evident from the price behavior. After the five-day war the Russian capital was withdrawn from the region causing prices on the market of Ajaria go down considerably. As a result, a three-room apartment near the sea could be bought for USD 40,000. In these conditions, even in Georgia, a country of high investment risks, it became profitable to make short-time investments in the real estate.
Still, it has nothing to do with the development of tourist industry. Visibility of a construction boom (see Batumi's Eiffel Tower) that the authorities try to create makes no sense either. According to Mikheil Saakashvili who came there in May, the tower will symbolize new Batumi. "This is a tower of our alphabet; it's like our genetic code, like DNA. It even looks like DNA rising up to the sky", - the Georgian president described vividly.