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Prospects for 2011

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 31
On New Year's Eve people tend to not only assess the past year, but to try and foretell the next year. The ruling administration assesses 2010 as successful and predicts that these tendencies will continue in 2011, meaning an increase in international support, and international pressure on Russia concerning occupied territories. However, most analysts think that there is not much progress possible in this direction. More than likely Russia will not accept the terms of the dialogue suggested by Saakashili and will continue to strengthen their positions in the occupied territories. It is less probable that developments will move towards a military confrontation. Most analysts think that major "battles" for Georgia will be inside the country. Some analysts think that from February – March 2011, social problems will appear as a result of inflation which will stem from the financial crisis. However, some suggest that the Georgian population is tolerant, and it will manage to survive in the worth situations. So no serious turmoil is to be expected. Opposition is divided because of the current scandal between Burjanadze and Saakashvili and has involved almost the entire spectrum of opposition groups; at least this is how the population perceives the situation. It is likely that the scandal will continue into next year as well. Of course the situation discredits the opposition overall. There are different opinions. Some think that this is a plot masterminded by the ruling administration, which coincides with their principle of divide and rule. There are some other mini scandals as well, one involves the independent TV station Maestro, which has been managed by a company set by one of the opposition members, Erosi Kitsmarishvili. Some parties have withdrawn from the public assembly because of Burjanadze’s position against Gachechiladze. So these are just a few examples of the mini scandals. Fortunately, it is unlikely that another revolution will take place in Georgia. People have gained enough political culture and the opposition does not really want to take such a direction.

In 2011, the ruling party and 8 opposition parties will continue discussing the introduction of amendments into the elections code. It is highly probable that the ruling administration will do its best to take up time in order to adopt some changes at the last moment under serious time constraints.

Some analysts and politicians still think that Saakashvili might arrange snap parliamentary elections before the amendments are introduced in the elections code, thus conducting them under the existing rules which are obviously not perfect at all. They allow for too much manipulation. Besides opposition currently is having problems mentioned above. Though the ruling administration gives an optimistic prognosis but acknowledges that the economic situation in the country is far from desirable. There are many serious problems in industry as well as in agriculture. In 2011, a new tax code will come into force. It has been simultaneously praised and criticized, but it is premature to give any distinct opinion about it before it starts functioning. So again, in the spirit of Georgian optimism, let us hope for the best.

Happy New Year!