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Bakradze will fight on three fronts

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, March 18
Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Davit Bakradze has stated that there are three main challenges facing Georgia today: The economic crisis, security (implying the existing conflict between Georgia and Russia) and the internal political situation.

At a meeting with a group of Georgian sportsmen on March 17 Bakradze spoke in detail about these challenges and the Government’s achievements. Concerning the economy and the world financial crisis Bakradze highlighted that the authorities have done their best to prevent the banks going bankrupt.

“Our goal is for the country’s economy to be functioning even at a low level, so that when the economies of well-developed countries start growing again Georgia will be able to develop along with them,” Bakradze stated.

According to Bakradze the August war and Russian aggression were the logical consequence of the Russian policy of recent years but the repetition of this aggression is not realistic. “The chance of Russia conducting another such large scale aggression is minimal, and the economic crisis and social problems in Russia are the reasons why I think this,” Bakradze said, stressing that the Georgian authorities are ready to establish good neighbourly relations with Russia but not at the expense of Georgia’s sovereignty. “A country cannot have three embassies in one country - in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and Sokhumi,” he added.

The Parliament Speaker talked about the non-Parliamentary opposition and said some of them had “a kamikadze mentality,” being ready to blow themselves up in order to remove the current authorities and the President. “There is a group of politicians which believes that it has nothing to lose and can blow up itself in order to destroy the target – whether it is the system or the President. Such a kamikadze opposition is very bad and dangerous for any country,” he said.

Bakradze also commented on the rally planned for April 9, stating that the Government is calm about such rallies and will continue working as usual. “We continue to address economic issues in order to create more jobs, increase pensions and establish better health and social insurance systems,” Bakradze said. He acknowledged that some people don’t love the current authorities and may go out into the streets and demand a change of Government, but said this would be a signal for the authorities that something should be changed in the country. He added that internal disorder is in the interests of “very concrete forces outside the country.” According to Bakradze the way to resolve the present situation and avoid the most negative consequences of it is to create a political system where “radicals, non-radicals, moderates, non-moderates – each have their own place.”

Bakradze also talked about increasing the rights which can be exercised by the non-Parliamentary opposition. “We did that not because we like or love the Parliamentary opposition or because they are collaborating with us. We are doing it because having more rights increases your level of responsibility,” he said. “A responsible opposition is necessary for the country. We need a strong opposition, which has many rights and many levers. We are not afraid of responsible opposition. Irresponsible opposition is dangerous for the country,” he added.

The Speaker emphasised his interest in sport and said that continuous contact between the Government and sports representatives should be maintained because it is very important for the Government to understand what should be done and where problems exist. “I can declare that sport will remain one of the priorities of the Government and we will do even more in future years than we have previously. You are people who are doing their job and what you do is called ‘Doing the Job of Georgia,’” Bakradze concluded.