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At the western crossroads

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, October 21
Georgia’s ruling administration claims that its target is European integration. However, both its accession to the EU and NATO membership will be delayed for an unpredictable length of time. Both organizations demand that Georgia complies with European values and standards. Georgia has to reshuffle its institutions and come closer to European demands within the European designed format. The results of which would be very insignificant and not viable at all. For the last couple of years, Georgian authorities have been airing information about the possibility of free trade with EU.

However, currently the enthusiasm has cooled as young financiers and businessmen association announced at its press conference on October 18 that the EU has delayed the process because the Georgian government has not fulfilled the EU's demanded conditions. There were several demands Georgia had to fulfill, the first of which was the reform of its statistics department.

Current reforms were evaluated negatively, with the next demand being the restoration of quality control service in the country, as well as restoration of anti monopolistic service and the amendment of the labour code. Georgian legislators did not fulfill any of these demands and are offering neo-libertarian rules instead.

In the beginning, Georgia’s leadership promised to restore an anti monopolistic service, however no real steps in this direction were taken. So, verbally, the country’s leadership is promising European orientation, however no steps are taken in this direction. In reality, the Georgian leadership is trying to introduce a Singapore model and go east instead west.

The analysts think that, under the current situation, the country is dominated by monopolists. The fact that an anti monopoly service has not been restored means existing monopolists are gaining more influence. The most vivid example of monopolistic growth is in Georgia’s pharmaceutical market. Before abolishing the anti monopoly service in 2005, three pharmaceutical companies serviced 65% of the market, today they control up to 85% of it. So Georgia is at the crossroads of its western claims but this not a maze. For the country, where there is a will, there is a way.