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How do you think the President being out of the country has affected Georgia?

Friday, May 14
"I definitely think that this has had a negative affect on the country. The President is the Head of State, whose absence may lead to some internal or international processes which will harm our national unity."
Guliko, pensioner, 63

"I canít feel any positive or negative effects of the Presidentsí absence yet. He has been travelling so often lately that we have got used to his habits."
Nino, accountant, 25

"To my mind Saakashvili being out of Georgia doesnít affect our country at all. He pays pointless visits to different countries so often that weíve already got so used to this that we consider this normal behaviour and an ordinary situation."
Paata, economist, 34

"I canít say for definite how the Presidentís absence has affected our country but evidently it doesnít have a positive influence on the President himself to spend such a long time in other countries when important events are taking place in his own. Apart from anything else, the elections will soon be held and itís inadmissible that the President is somewhere else. To my mind Saakashviliís absence from his country proves once more that he cares about nothing at all."
Keta, painter, 27

"Really, Saakashvili is outside Georgia? I did not know, I have not noticed. OK, a joke is a joke and should not be carried too far. Certainly the Presidentís absence has a negative influence on the state, as what else do we need him for if he refuses to run his country and establish order here? People need their leader in their own country, not somewhere else!"
Natia, student, 19

"I think no, for as far as I know he has left Georgia several times recently but no significant changes have taken place in the country. I hope that his frequent visits will have some positive for the country and not negatively affect the state budget, because as I know flights are quite expensive."
Tamar, economist, 43

"When his long interviews on TV stopped I asked where he was, and only then did I understand that Saakashvili was in some foreign country. I suppose he likes being in Europe or the United States, as his voyages have become so frequent lately. I advise him to stay in some foreign country and leave us alone!"
Zurab, unemployed, 31

"He frequently leaves the country and Georgian people have got accustomed to this. It has no effect, I consider. This is an election period and people are paying more attention to the candidates and their campaigns."
Lia, teacher, 29