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Ruins of Gori2011-06-17 22:14
What is life like outside the capital of Georgia? What keeps people inspired and joyful there? Is there anything in common between Mikheil Saakashvili's endless reports on success in Georgia's democratic development and real lives of country citizens away from the capital? To answer these questions GeorgiaTimes correspondent went to Gori where simple and wise people live knowing the price of life.
Poverty in Tbilisi can be covered by the shining façade of central streets and avenues. Yet, ugliness of Georgian provinces can't be hidden. Nobody even tries to. It is impossible to throw a veil on the entire country.
There are road signs along the Georgian Military Road I'm taking to reach Gori still featuring number of kilimeters to Sukhum - a naïve attempt to show that the breakaway territories are "still part of the country". But inscrutable signs with the name of the capital of the neighboring state as if it were a local town deceive no one.
Georgians don't believe that after August 2008 the return of breakaway provinces into one united country is possible.
They mistrust both - their leaders and road signs.
- Saakashvili is a fool! A psychopath! A crazy man! - a car driver explodes when I start speaking about the events of three years ago. Despite the attempts of Georgian authorities to show to the world that the population supports them, the attitude to the president I saw in Georgia was skeptical - putting it mildly.
Even those who praise him composedly are sure anyway: in reality Mishiko and his team have done so much harm that three generations will not be enough to live it through. They also accuse him of falling out with Russia. On the whole, local citizens believe that only reliance on security structures helps Saakashvili remain president.
- Policemen's salary is GEL 700-800. And an average salary is GEL 150, - the driver says frankly. - Will they contradict him? As for the opposition: look, they called for rallies so many times and so many times they cancelled everything at the last moment. We have no more trust in them...