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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 24
GEL devaluation is natural - analyst

Professor of the Technical University of Georgia Solomon Pavliashvili states in an interview with Akhali Taoba, "the devaluation of the GEL is natural. GEL devaluation will continue until investment activity is renewed. The Government might control this process, as this is why the country has reserves of foreign currency. The future direction of the country depends on the task before the economy."

Asked why businessmen were not celebrating the devaluation now, when they were criticising the strengthening of the GEL rate 2-3 years ago on the grounds it harmed exports, Pavliashvili states, "The period before the global financial crisis and the Russian aggression was very felicitous for the Georgian economy due to the investment boom. Foreign investment reached 2 billion GEL in 2007 and 1.5 billion in 2008, despite the hostilities. However, the situation is radically different now. Therefore, it is significant how effectively the National Bank conducts its loans policy."

Asked whether the continuous trade deficit is the underlying reason the currency is weak, he says, "This is a primitive approach. Cyprus produces only cold drinks, ice-cream and milk products but does not complain about the weakness of its currency. Cyprus imports everything from Europe and Asia and sells it to its own citizens and tourists. Economic stimulation by the state is admissible only in particular circumstances. For example, bananas are more expensive in Georgia than in any other country in Europe due to lack of competition here, and this would be one such circumstance."

Drug addiction has significantly increased in Georgia

Professor Akaki Gamkrelidze, Deputy Director of the National Centre of Disease Control and Public Health Protection, states in the interview with Rezonansi, "There are 200,000 drug abusers in Georgia and 240-250 persons with certain ties to narcotics. These are large figures for our country indeed, as the Georgian population is 4.5 million. According to internationally accepted measures, such a proportion qualifies as a narcotics epidemic. People in almost every layer of society abuse narcotics. But I can assure you that the administrative bodies, the Ministry of the Interior, the Government, are practically free of drug abusers," the Professor added.

"Drug addiction has significantly increased in Georgia. Generally, drug abusers are between 22 and 45 while 12-13-year olds are abusing even worse narcotics than the ‘ordinary’ ones. I can tell you that narcotics significantly damage the somatic system along with the psyche. A drug abuser absolutely loses their personal features. Those narcotics abused by our teenagers damage the somatic system and sometimes even legs and hands need to be amputated," Professor Gamkrelidze says.

"The problem is that young people are not fully informed about the wrecking effects of drug addiction… I want to say that drug addiction is not a disease which may infect a person without their will. If a person has civil responsibility, they will not become a drug abuser," he concludes.