Georgia exemplary reform country
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 16The Georgian authorities have become very proud recently that the reforms that have been carried out in the country have been acknowledged as exemplary by other countries, with representatives visiting Georgia to experience for themselves the changes.
During his recent visit to the US President Saakashvili mentioned Georgia’s successful reforms to representatives of the Georgian Diaspora. He pointed out that Georgia is showing a new order in the region – not only in the Caucasus but in the whole post soviet area, which is why many people around the world have expressed interest in visiting Georgia to learn from the country’s experience. He once again used the Singapore example, promising that Georgia will be a democratic Singapore by 2015, with the highest developing economy in Europe. Talking about the most exemplary reforms of the Georgian authorities, Saakashvili named several: firstly those within the police force; he also mentioned the successful reforms which have been carried out in the public and civil registry sectors. The authorities also claim significant progress in the ease of registering a business in Georgia. As a result of these reforms, ordinary people no longer face instances of low level bribery and corruption. So obviously Georgia has attracted the attention of a number of various countries both from the neighbourhood and beyond, in particular those of the former Soviet Union. Leaders and high level officials from countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Ukraine say that they would like to gain from the experience of the Georgia authorities in implementing such changes in the country. The Georgian leadership also claims that even Russian high echelon representatives are closely observing developments in Georgia and are trying to follow our example, although of course the Russians do not admit this but rather are discreetly planning to imitate Georgia’s moves.
Some Georgian analysts challenge this self satisfactory mood of the Georgian leadership. For instance Ramaz Sakvarelidze does not believe that business is really free of pressure in the country, nor are the Georgian police depoliticised. His opinion is shared by much of the opposition –reforms for the sake of reforms are not yielding sufficient results if they are not targeted towards democratic change. Sakvarelidze thinks that democratic reform in the country means that those in power should get used to the idea that at some time they may have to relinquish power. Of course it is not easy to cope with the idea that one no longer has any power and in addition, if while being in power (putting himself above the law) a person violated the law there is a serious possibility that upon losing control the former leaders will be hunted by the new leaders. Therefore the current authorities do not want to give up their privileges. Those who admire the Georgian reforms should realise that together with the positive trends there are also some negative outcomes from obtaining better results.