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Spring projects of Georgia’s government2009-01-11 11:51
On January 9 Georgia's government first 2009 session was held with Mikheil Saakashvili stating that in spring large-scale construction would start in the country. Also the president was curious at the state of health of the Ministers and the officials.
At the government session Mikheil Saakashvili asked about the state of health of Prime Minister Grigol Mgaloblishvili and Speaker of Parliament David Bakradze, both of them being in hospitals now. The president was puzzled: "Some people are on official trips, some people are ill. I want to ask you - what has happened to you, people? It is time to be fit; you'd better go to bed earlier. There is no time for being ill in Georgia, everybody should keep fit".
Discussing the prospects of economic development for the nearest future Mikheil Saakashvili said: "As soon as spring comes Georgia must turn into a giant construction site with various foreign and domestic companies beginning their construction projects".
He noted that the state should become Georgia's economy main investor and asked the members of the government to appropriate USD 2.2 bn for state projects in 2009.
Finance Minister Nika Gilauri stated that in January the state would open infrastructure projects amounting to USD 1 bn to tenders. "We want mostly Georgian companies to take part in these tenders", - Gilauri stated. He forecasts that 25-30 thousand new employments will be created.
The head of Road department Ramaz Nikoleishvili noted in his turn that construction and rehabilitation of the road infrastructure would account for USD 521 mn expenditure as planned in 2009.
However Georgia's 2009 budget has decreased (in comparison with the previous year) by 1 bn lari (around USD 600 mn). Nobody seems to be alarmed about that.
The government encourages the president's optimism keeping him convinced that the financial crisis has not affected Georgia. "The world is facing the crisis and Georgia is facing the difficulties caused by the crisis in other countries" - Saakashvili stated recently.
Economists are not so optimistic about the future believing that Georgia will not bypass the world crisis. According to them many people will lose their jobs and salaries in spring. That will lead to social instability.
Ramaz Sakvarelidze thinks that in 2009 the economic crisis will gather pace with a lot of problems remaining unsolved. "The people's discontent might break forth as illegal expropriation and human rights abuse continue.