The messenger logo

Who is to blame?

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 10
Local as well as foreign analysts predict that Georgia will be hit harder by the economic crisis. This issue is discussed by politicians as well, but their opinions are influenced by their political standpoint.

Officers of state from the ruling party claim that the world financial crisis, Russian invasion and the opposition’s untimely conduct have stirred the situation in the country. The opposition, on its side, blames the administration for every aspect of the dire situation the country has fallen into, be it war, economic failure or other problems the opposition protests about. However in such a situation of mutual blame the decisive part should be played by the population. How do ordinary people feel and who do they trust?

Government representatives, indeed, put all the blame for Georgia’s troubles on the global crisis, not forgetting to add that the situation in Georgia is better than in neighbouring countries and that the state is doing everything to bring relief to the people. Recently it has become so active that some analysts have concluded that the ruling party is preparing for elections.

“Student employment programmes have begun, the Mayor of Tbilisi is doing duties peculiar to election periods and the President has also become rather active, welcoming people from different places every day. Reconstruction work has started in the city (Tbilisi), which is usually done during elections…the administration is spending colossal amounts of money not registered in official documents,” thinks analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili.

Maybe authorities do not exclude holding snap elections on their own terms. However they could be forced to do so at a time they do not want by mass protest rallies, so through social activities and programmes the Government is trying to decrease the number of dissatisfied people and therefore the number of potential protesters. If the state takes care of its people this is great, and who is going to protest against it? But this provision of welfare should be permanent, not confined to election times.

Today the opposition is speculating about the existence of an official strategy of putting all the blame for the deteriorating economy on the opposition. This would reorient the people’s grudge and direct it against the opposition. The President and his team keep repeating that the coming six months in particular will be difficult. Why six months? No one can yet specify how long the current difficulties will last. The opposition explains that the next six months are crucial for the administration, as they will determine whether it will stay in power or not. Hence the quoting of this particular timespan, to counter any opposition allegations by saying “yes, we know things are bad, we told you they would be, so listen to us, not them!”

The authorities want to convince the population that bad times are approaching and therefore this is not the time for protest rallies or other activities which could further undermine an already difficult situation. Who knows, maybe they are right? Georgia is awaiting huge challenges.