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Government faces tough domestic and foreign challenges

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 23
Based on the calculations of the current government and its former leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, 2015 should be a year of economic and political advancement, significantly better compared to its preceding years. However, analysts cite the serious challenges the country faces currently and the government will have to respond to them in 2015.

The major challenge in 2015 is the occupied regions of Georgia. Russia signed a treaty on Alliance and Partnership with de-facto Abkhazia in 2014 and plans to sign the same type of an agreement with the other breakaway region of South Ossetia in 2015.

The treaties are viewed as an attempt by Russia to annex Georgian territories.

What should the government do in this regard?

The Prime Minister and high-ranking officials within the Georgian Dream coalition have emphasized that Georgia’s friendly steps towards Russia have not brought any positive moves in terms of Georgia’s occupied regions. Nevertheless, the government does not appear interested in amending its present policy with Russia.

According to analyst Levan Geradze, only symbolic steps might be anticipated concerning the breakaway regions.

“Following the treaties, the current government will have more restricted links with the de-facto regions. However, the government must not concede and should continue working in this direction,” the analyst suggested.

“No radical changes in Georgian-Russian relations are expected, but the relevant bodies of the government should try to retain and empower contacts with de-facto representatives and local NGOs,” Geradeze said.

The second main challenge are threats from Russia. Georgia is currently striving towards Euro-Atlantic integration, while the developments in Ukraine clearly hint on possible threats for Georgia. Some analysts are concerned that Russia will launch direct support of pro-Russian forces in Georgia in 2015, and that these forces might achieve real success in the 2016 parliamentary elections of Georgia.

The next major challenge domestic policy. The Georgian Dream coalition has started preparing for the upcoming elections and have announced a ‘renewal’ of the Georgian Dream party. Analyst Demur Giorkhelidze says that a new opposition coalition might be established for the elections, the parties will be united based on their common views.

With regard to the economy, analysts believe that the Lari devaluation will continue in 2015 and will stop at 2.15 against 1 USD.

Analysts also do not expect any important reversal regarding the major social problem in the country-unemployment. They believe that the government is not focused on settling the problem. They suggest that lack of business projects will affect the creation of jobs in 2015.

However Georgian official bodies are still optimistic promising major breakthrough in different fields of country’s economy.