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Vano Merabishvili at your service2011-10-11 14:42
Georgian interior minister Vano Merabishvili imposes his experience of reforms on Ukraine's ministry of interior. Last year he told a nice story about a police paradise on Inter TV. Now he uses the same words on First National Channel. "The police is not a repressive mechanism but an agency at people's service", - was the phrase of Georgia's number one polizei that sounds like a slogan. The country has to pay a high price for this premium service.
President Mikheil Saakashvili has a soft spot for interior minister Vano Merabishvili. This hould not be misunderstood. It's just that Vano's power is so immense that sending the president to jail is not a problem. That is why the head of the state is so generously financing the Ministry for Interior.
This year the ministry spent GEL 566 million, or nearly USD 400 mln. Next year's ministry budget is fixed at GEL584 mln. Is it much or little? From the point of view of Ukrainian minister for interior Anatoly Mogilev whom Vano Merabishvili taught sense on Ukraine's First National Channel, this is too much for such a small country as Georgia.
"Ukraine is ten times larger. According to this logic, we need a USD 4 billion budget, don't we? Or UAH 32 billion, right? At the moment the budget of the ministry for interior is UAH 11 billion", - Mogilev compares Georgia's and Ukraine's expenditure on the law-enforcement system.
A year ago the Georgian minister of interior already boasted of his achievements on Ukrainian TV. "The police is not a force of coercion, this is an agency to serve citizens of Georgia", - Inter channel quoted the words of Georgia's top polizei. Police trust rate, Vano continued, went up from 10 to 82%. People rely on the police like on God.
In 1990s a policeman was a pitiful soul. Children looked up to mafia bosses dreaming of their "careers". Presently, "every Georgian boy dreams of becoming a policeman", Merabishvili says. This is easy to explain, since the police salary is much higher than what other public employees earn in Georgia.
The symbol of incorruptibility of Interior ministry employees are buildings of the ministry and its departments made of glass. Certainly, that crystal PR cost millions with GEL 30 mln spent on construction of the headquarters. Yet, the result had its effect on citizens.