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400 lari for Ivanishvili’s “head”2011-12-02 13:34
Despite numerous attempts of Georgian authorities to eliminate an obstacle unexpectedly appearing in front of Mikheil Saakashvili in the form of businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, they don't make much progress. Seems like the presidential team will go any length now: recently the republic was full of rumors that the billionaire will give GEL 400 to all citizens as a New Year present. Ivanishvili's press service refutes the information giving a broad hint on the source. Yet, everyone already knows where such rumors come from.
Still, it will be quite hard to frame a person placed on the 185-th position in the World's Richest Men list even if he decides to make all fairy tales of his opponents come true. Presently, independent Western experts estimate the Georgian Dream leader's fortune at USD 5.4 bn. Georgia's population, as GruzStat reports, is 4,469,200 as of the start of 2011. Yet, it is unlikely this figure has increased considerably during the year. To give everyone a GEL 400 New Year present the businessman should spend USD 1,787,680,000 (nearly USD 1,78,409,845). If Bidzina spends this amount to make his compatriots happy, his fortune will shrink to 4,321,590,155. Serious expenditure - yet not critical for the businessman. He can afford it if the need occurs.
Mikheil Saakashvili's fortune is officially unknown. Basically, the data he makes public look like bad jokes. Over 2010, as the income declaration states, the Georgian president's earnings were USD 33 thousand making his overall fortune USD 70 thousand. If documents can be trusted, at the time of declaration submission the president did not own a home or a car. Former defense minister of Georgia once said that Saakashvili has saved not less than USD 2 bn. His watch collection is only USD 3 mln. By all appearances, lately Mikheil Nikolozovich prefers to be paid by the state: the opposition's accusations of excess expenditure for trips and other joys of life are not incidental.
In any case, left face to face with Ivanishvili on the political arena, Saakashvili does not behave like a dollar billionaire. Probably, the core difference between them is that Bidzina spends reasonably and easily not forgetting to make more money. Mishiko on the contrary finds it hard to give laris to pensioners and asks for more and more million loans from the international financial organizations.