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Gilauri fades into background29.11.2011 | 15:02
Georgian PM Nica Gilauri keeps touring with his 10-item plan of the country's strategic development up to 2015. At the end of last week he presented the document to the parliament. The reaction of oppositional deputies was unfavorable, putting it mildly. As he told journalists afterwards, he was "offended" to be received like that. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discusses this with Petre Mamradze who took part in the debates.
"2011-2015 Modernization and Employment Strategies" are actively discussed in Georgia. Completing the document and announcing it, the government led by PM keeps repeating that the problems of the republic will soon be solved. The plan has wonderful phrases connected with the war on unemployment, attraction of investments and an army of foreign tourists expected to bring lots of money to Georgia.
The bright cover of the document does not guarantee that the plan will be implemented, though. The opposition understands that well. Discussing the document in parliament, Nica Gilauri faced comments he failed to retaliate. All started with fantastic statements that presently investors' trust to Georgia is even higher than to Greece, Egypt or Italy. The PM added that businessmen are scared by the domestic situation in those states. The PM presented a lengthy speech on an unheard-of construction boom in Sakartvelo, air communication with new countries, on new employments and infrastructure for tourists it all gives.
No one believed him. No wonder: the real situation in the country does not leave Saakashvili and his team resources to implement this "juicy" strategy. Though Gilauri wanted to prove vitality of the plan speaking about progress of the government mentioning a 100 GEL increase in pensions (from 14 to 140), it did not give any result. The main thing is that criticized by the opposition, the PM simply got offended. "It hurts me for I was sure that I will be given an alternative plan and new ideas we would use to amend our plan. Instead, I heard deliberate lies", - he said in the press. - In 2004 when I was appointed energy minister of Georgia, there was no two-day plan, let alone the period of five years. But we managed to raise the country from its knees. We wrote many plans and executed them. Just like we will implement this one".
What did the parliamentary opposition do to offend the PM? The Georgian press does not comment on that. In order to clarify the situation, GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with Petre Mamradze, a deputy from Unity In the Name of Democracy faction. The parliamentarian was present at the discussion of the strategy but seeing that all this is bluff, he left the room. "The main thing is that PM and chair of parliament have less power than Vano Merabishvili's deputy. All these programs are nothing but self-publicity aimed at preservation of power, - he remarked. - The current regime won't make any concessions. They won't lose their excess profits or their monopolies. Basically, this is the core of our pitiful state. Against this background, the leadership tries to demonstrate that work is in progress. Alas, all this is not true".
According to our interlocutor, Georgi Tsagareishvili and Jondi Bagaturia made sharp observations over the strategic development plan, and they were not lying. "For instance, Bagaturia reminded the PM of the GEL 45 mln increase in Defense ministry budget. I was head of Georgia's state chancellery and I can say that announcing tenders in such strict deadlines is impossible. That means that the money has already been spent, and there is an attempt to hush down this lawlessness. Certainly, things are done in secrecy, and only few people know about that. This is not an exclusive case. Yet, there is no documented evidence. But accusations of my colleagues are absolutely logical and well-grounded". - Mamradze believes.
Commenting on Gilaruri's statements on business attractiveness and pensions, the parliamentarian from the opposition emphasized that the republic gets no investments at all. "This is statistically confirmed. Suffice to take a look at Georgian State statistics data - things are bad in exports, imports and agriculture. As for pensions, the authorities really are trying to take them up, but let's consider inflation over the past three years and the fact that the purchasing power of pensioners is much lower than in the past. I deal with these people literally every day, and they say that during first years after the Rose Revolution a lot was done. A pension today is a symbolic amount that is not enough even for basic needs".