Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Georgia – Another World

Through recent weeks, it has been disturbing to meet with the ever-increasing number of Armenian’s, who now travel to and from Armenia’s Northern neighbor, either to visit their friends, or of late, to look at how they might develop a foothold in the Georgian Republic.

They talk about all manner of unbelievable happenings, that through their recent years in Armenia, they had come to accept were no more than the incomprehensible ramblings of those who wandered off the straight and narrow, often in foreign lands.

The Georgian people are allowed to travel around the Republic without being constantly assisted by the authorities. They are even being coerced into developing small and medium business enterprises, where they are being obliged to pay dues to the state budget, in accordance with the laws of the land.

Agricultural land is being offered to investors, on the understanding that it is used exclusively for agriculture, and the land purchaser has to commit to employing a minimum of four farm workers on each hectare they own. Foreign Investors are rushing in to the Republic to take advantage of this very questionable proposition. How is it possible that a state authority could develop such a worthless endeavor as agriculture that will only benefit farm workers, and which will be of little benefit to the state? Maybe President Sahakashvilli has some kind of illusion that agriculture is important to a developing economy.

Auctions of state properties are being conducted in rooms full of people professing to be investors, who actually have the gall to bid for properties. And if they happen to be the highest bidder, they say that they will pay with real money.

And then in Georgia’s second largest city of Kutaisy, the entire administration has just been dismissed for misappropriating a couple of hundred thousand dollars from the town budget. Not because they took too little, but because they are not expected to take any money that has been allocated to benefit the town’s common folk. Who are they kidding?

Armenia’s younger generation know that what is happening in Georgia is absolutely ridiculous. State authorities are not expected to pave the way to better lives for their people; except of course for those who are connected to one or another of the state cronies, or those who have demonstrated their allegiance by buying themselves into a Government post.

Let us hope that the future Armenian Presidential elections are not marred by external influences which might impose upon Armenia any kind of tendency to replicate in any way what the poor Georgian people are now going through.

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