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President listens to the people

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, January 26
The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili answered his people yesterday. Saakashvili held a video-conference and answered the questions of Georgian citizens from all over the country.

The subject of the questions were not limited but mainly referred to social and political matters.

One of the hot topics was increased prices and social problems. People asked questions like how long such a crisis period will last and if the government has a special plan on how to overcome this problem and inflation.

Saakashvili responded by saying that the Georgian government does not have proper levers which could stop inflation in the country. “These are the problems which are very acute for me. Inflation is the major challenge of our economy, which hits our country harder than other countries,” the President stated.

As Saakashvili explained, the reason for increasing prices on food is that demand has increased, entrepreneurship started working again and fuel prices have also increased. According to him, one outcome from that problem is Georgia’s further development, development quicker than those countries which caused a worldwide increase in price.

“In such risky times, the only thing we should focus on is being successful – we should be successful to survive,” Saakashvili added.

Responding to a question on the unemployment problem, the President said that he thinks this problem will be solved by 2012. According to him it was the first precedent in 2010 when statistically the number of unemployed persons decreased. The President named three sector developments which will be a guarantee for reducing unemployment and they are: Agriculture, tourism and infrastructure development. “There are many territories in Georgia which are not being properly exploited. We should pay attention to our agriculture. We have had serious success in the tourism sector. We expect 3 mln tourists next year. In 2-3 years we should have 5 mln tourists here, more than Bulgaria.” As for infrastructure, the President said that active construction of hydro electric power stations are planned from next year which will able to employ 20-30 000 persons.

More information from the President’s question and answer session with the Georgian people will be available in Thursday’s edition of The Messenger.