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Saakashvili Announces Revolution in Georgia

By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Wednesday, April 4
Mikheil Saakashvili published a video, where he speaks about the hard political and economic situation in Georgia. In the first part the third President of Georgia criticizes Bidzina Ivanishvili and accuses him of conspiring with the banks, in the second part he speaks about the possible way to solve the economic problems and develop the country, and in the third part he speaks about increasing the state pension and salary of teachers and policemen.

In the beginning of the video, Saakashvili speaks about how much the profit of banks operating in Georgia has increased compared to 2012, on the other hand, provides the number of citizens who have addressed a pawnshop in 2017. He described the situation in Georgia as “catastrophic”, and claims it’s caused by the business mafia existing in the country: “Ivanishvili does the same thing in Georgia that he was doing in Russia in the 90’s. He has negotiated with several banks and with their support he is destroying Georgian economy. The numbers don't lie - in 2012, when the economy was growing fast, the net income of banks was 130 million GEL, after 2012, during the Georgian Dream governance, the net income of the banks grew at least six times and reached almost 900 million GEL. In 2012, the number of citizens with a bank debt was 110,000. Now this number has grown to 250,000. Only in 2017, over 600 000 citizens addressed a pawnshop. Out of total 3 million people in Georgia, every fifth person has addressed pawnshops - this is a real economic catastrophe,” Saakashvili stated.

As for the second part of the statement, where Saakashvili speaks about a possible way of dealing with the difficult economic situation, the ex-president did not specify any details. He said that after defeating the business mafia, the real power will be transferred to small and medium business and this will support the economic growth: "I, Mikheil Saakashvili, address to this mafia: we will abolish your governance, and return the power to Georgian families, every Georgian and small and medium business that will create an opportunity to raise a salaries."

As for the third part of the video, Saakashvili speaks about increasing the state pension and salaries of teachers and policemen. He also mentioned that the government must be changed this year and since the next Parliamentary elections in Georgia are happening in 2020, the only way to change the government is a revolution: "I am sure that after the government changes and the government must change immediately after the presidential election, the minimum state pension in Georgia will be 400 GEL. I promise you this, a person who has increased the pension 11 times, I could have done more if I had time. I know that 400 GEL is not much, but it is the minimum what can be done immediately,” stated Saakashvili.

The second most important aspect, as ex-president mentioned, is education system. He believes it is possible to raise teachers’ salaries to 1000 GEL immediately after changing the government. Saakashvili also mentioned the Georgian police. He said that policemen are in a very hard situation, because of a high level of crime in the country. To stimulate Georgian police, Saakashvili promised to raise their salaries to 2000 GEL as soon as the current government will be changed.

Saakashvili is promising to increase the salaries and pensions immediately after changing the Georgian Dream government. Such changes are associated with big expenditures from the state budget and to allow such changes, Georgia needs to have better economic situation than it is now. On another hand, any plan for economic development will take years to bring real progress, therefore it will be very hard to implement announced reforms in a short period of time. Despite the shortcomings in Saakashvili's statement, we can’t ignore the numbers that he mentioned at the beginning of the video, which expresses the difficult economic situation in the country, and whatever are the reasons causing it: the political heritage from the ex-government, wrong economic course of the current government, or foreign factors, this situation must be changed.