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Saakashvili outlines plans for the regions

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, July 15
President Mikheil Saakashvili met regional government representatives on July 14 and discussed regional issues and planned projects, the 30 May local elections, problems in agriculture and tourism and some other related issues.

“USD 1,300,000,000 will be spent this year on regional development projects. The sum will be spent mainly on road infrastructure, water supply improvements, healthcare and education. Building roads remains one of the main priorities for us and this year the Road Department of Georgia will undertake projects worth GEL 452,000,000,” Saakashvili stated.

While talking about the achievements of the present Government, the President did not forget to mention the local elections of May 30. "Based on all studies we can say that trust in the local authorities has increased. By voting for the National Movement the Georgian people has supported the fight against crime and poverty and chosen Georgia’s advancement and development. Some parties were focused on the capital only, which turned out to be wrong. We gained an excellent victory throughout Georgia,” Saakashvili said.

The President also underlined why Georgia is being visited by more tourists now than in previous years. "We have declared war on the so-called “goodfellas” criminal institution. Those people controlled the Georgian highlands particularly. We have annihilated this problem, and this is why the Georgian highlands, and not only the highlands, are being visited by more and more tourists, which is vital for the economic advancement of the country. If anyone tries to terrorise investors there again, he will find himself in one of our European standard prisons,” Saakashvili said.

The President said that Georgian agriculture and tourism need more assistance as the situation in these spheres is not satisfactory. "Everything should be done to develop Georgian agriculture. Too many incompetent people work in the agriculture and tourism sectors and I am not going to bear this. I will control all the Ministries and Departments personally, their staff and so on. However the number of tourists increases year on year, we are doing our best in this direction. Apart from Adjara Mestia has the greatest potential and we will use this. However, we are not focused only on these regions, there are many interesting places for tourists in Georgia,” Saakashvili stated. Representatives of the regional authorities expressed a readiness to fulfill all the directives received from the President.

Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told The Messenger, "The country’s advancement and economic development can be discussed in two contexts - macro and micro. If our authorities take some international studies into consideration they can claim an advance in the macro context, but no positive moves are being made in microeconomic development, meaning reducing unemployment and poverty and some other indicators, and our economic levers are not in our own hands. As for what can be considered the pros and cons of our Government's actions, I give just one example: the strengthening of the Government and its active involvement in different fields can be positive, but when this involvement is excessive it becomes negative,” Sakvarelidze said.