Georgians wish themselves health, peace and money31.12.2008 | 10:30
Only 22 percent of the Georgian population are seeing in the New Year with hope and in an optimistic mood. This was shown by a survey carried out by the Tbilisi weekly ‘Kviris Palitra' in which 443 people took part.
13.8 percent of respondents are in a bad mood, and 64 have still not yet thought about the holiday and their attitude towards 2009.
And what do people think is the most important thing for themselves, in the near term, based on a scale out of eight points? First and foremost is good health (7.17 points). Then comes peace and stability (7.09). In third place is financial prosperity (6.16). And then, with diminishing importance, a fully-laden table, a good New Year's present, interesting and cheerful television programmes for the holiday, a nice falling of snow and others.
This publication carries out surveys every week. And obviously some of them are on political themes. If we look at the results over the last two months, it emerges that the overwhelming majority of respondents have become disillusioned with the current regime. The largest degree of responsibility for the problems existing in Georgia is attributed to the president. 89 percent gave his blame a maximum 8 points. Then came parliament, and after that - the executive branch.
The president "won" in another category. Almost a quarter of those asked admitted that out of the country's leadership it is the head of state that most frequently provokes anger. In terms of offensiveness, he outstrips the deputy foreign minister and ideologist for the ruling ‘United national movement' Georgi Bokeria: 15.7 percent. Third place went to the chair of the parliamentary committee for defence and national security Georgi Targamadze with 14.5 percent.
Almost a half of respondents had a negative view of the work carried out by the parliamentary commission for studying the August events. Only 12.3 percent viewed it positively. Saakashvili's staff policies and his reshuffles to government positions met with even less approval. More than 60 percent thought that officials are selected not because of their professional qualifications, but due to their personal devotion to the regime. And only slightly more than 8 percent assessed the president's actions with approval.
But greatest blame is attached to the authorities for their catastrophic handling of the "introduction of constitutional order in South Ossetia". Despite the desperate attempts by Tbilisi officials to prove that Georgia won the war, 59 percent of respondents called its outcome the greatest defeat of the current regime. In second place is the actual loss of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and in third place the breaking up of the demonstration organized by opposition politicians on 7th November 2007.
The most popular achievement of the regime was that it has successfully provided electricity all round the clock. Kviris Palitra was also interested in another question. Whom do people in Georgia trust?
It emerged that very little trust is invested in politicians. None were even in the top five of the ranking. The Patriarchy enjoys the most respect, garnering 91 percent of the votes. In second place was the independent media, and third place went to the Public Defender Sozar Subari.
However politicians were also ranked. A ranking was compiled according to the personal qualities of these figures. In the end Nino Burjanadze was acknowledged as the most well-balanced politician, and Georgia's former envoy to the UN Irakli Alasania was the nicest. Irakli Okurashvili, a former close ally of the president and now a political refugee, was deemed the greatest trouble-maker.
The prize for the most inconsistent politician went to the deputy and member of the parliamentary opposition Dzhondi Bagaturia. But probably the greatest leap was made by the Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze: 50 percent of respondents thought that he, more than any other figure, suits the position which he occupies.
There were no surprises in the ranking of friendly countries. The respondents have the warmest feelings for the United States of America. They have a slightly cooler attitude towards France, but they also consider Turkey, their historical enemy, to be a friend, albeit in third position. Kviris Palitra also personified Georgia's probable enemies. The main enemy was Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. One place further down was Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity came third.