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How Saakashvili Instructed The French

This man is nuts...

This is what the fool said a little more than two months prior to the great faux-pas that we see today. I translate:

We often criticise our penitentiary system. Of course, nobody is happy when someone in the family is locked up. But I want to tell you, that people from the Ministry of Justice of France, workers in the prison systems are undergoing special training and learn how to manage prisons in the penitentiary system of Georgia before being assigned position in France. We are not advertising this, that's a fact. The French learn from us how to manage their prisons.  

Sure Misha you are not advertising this? Because I recall watching a report on wondrous Georgian police reform on Ukrainian TV just a week prior to Tbilisi seeing demonstrations the size of the March of the Millions (in a country of 4 million, just for perspective, Moscow has at least three times that many people)? Sure you weren't showcasing that very nasty... I mean wondrous prison to Russian liberast bloggers?

But seriously, it seems that the so called wondrous police reform in Georgia that all liberast media in the post-Soviet space were going all wet about, has now been exposed as a total superficial fraud. The Georgian police reform, or rather its essence, resides in brand new police stations, and an army of journalists willing to promote them. One thing I have noticed in Georgia is that all police stations are brand new. A strange picture emerges where everything in a given town looks like it hasn't been repaired since the days of the Tsars, but only the cops would have a shiny new station surrounded by new Skodas and Toyotas.

One is forced to ask, how much was all of this? And better yet, where do they get money for this? The last question has an easy answer, they borrow! Watch this old report from RT:


And as I have heard, they have also received a lot of loans following the 2008 war, out of sympathy. Meanwhile, the number of beggars in the streets of Tbilisi is steadily on the rise.

But Misha has a convenient target to blame for all of his troubles. This is what he uttered after somebody published some porn smuggled out of Georgian wonder-prison. I translate:

We are being fought against, through Russian methods of kompromat, using Russian money, threatening us, sabre-rattling on the border (note: I guess that is a reference to North Caucasus military games that Russia conducted during summer), but we will not be scared. They are trying to put Georgia on a Russian path of development, to turn it back into the past, and close our path into the future. They want to chase us into that very Gldani prison where irremediable violence took place, all Georgia they want to turn into a prison...   

Despite speaking about Russians on the border, Misha is actually blathering about the opposition. He accused the Georgian opposition on numerous occasions, of hiding the crimes in the prison system and waiting for a convenient moment before the elections. For me it really does not matter what the timing was, or whether Russian money were involved, I'm just happy that I will not hear about Georgian wondrous police reform, for some time at the very least.  

He also told the opposition how long they will have to put up with the fool. I translate:

I will not leave the political scene until Lazika becomes the most beautiful city on the Black Sea. We have gathered here to swear that until we are alive we will not stop the fight for the liberation of our country, we will not cease the fight for unification, we will not halt the building. We will build a dream city Lazika...

 ...these people (note: the opposition) have a whole list of sites which we have built, and which they want to destroy, they want to prevent the building of Lazika. Their policy is to destroy, our policy is to build.

Build with money you have borrowed, that must be fun. If you don't know what Lazika is, read here (I found the article on InoSMI), the article is a nice subtle agitprop for the Georgian government.

By the way, Mark has a great new article covering changes in Georgian politics... 

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Reader Comments (16)

Dear Leos,

One hears so much about Georgia and the "economic miracle" that has supposedly happened there that your report coming as it does from a reliable eyewitness is hugely refreshing.

Incidentally the RT report though from 2010 seriously underestimated the size of Georgia's foreign debt even in that year. Moreover that debt continues to grow at exponential speed and currently stands at $11 billion, It's possible that the RT report was simply talking about the government''s own foreign debt but that too has grown at the same incredible pace as this article shows.

Bear in mind that Georgia's GDP is around $14 billion and you begin to see why this is unsustainable.

I have to say that I am gradually coming round to the view that the secret of Georgia's economic growth since the Rose Revolution has been the amount of money pouring into the country from external sources. When money pours into such a small and relatively poor country at this rate it becomes difficult to absorb and almost always ends up being spent on high profile Pharaonic projects like the new city on the swamp. Needless to say the emphasis is always on new construction rather than repair of existing buildings since it is impossible to raise foreign funding for the repair of existing buildings, which is not something that creates a return for a foreign investor. That is why despite the building boom you found so many of the older buildings looking so delapidated. Needless to say a runaway building boom is also a sure fire recipe for rampant corruption, which I am sure is taking place though behind the scenes.

As for Saakashvili himself in my opinion his grasp of reality has always been pretty tenuous and with the passage of time he is becoming increasingly detached from it. In my opinion provided Saakashvili can keep the money coming in he can ride out any political threat. However there will eventually come a point where even the most ideologically minded and partisan investors start to worry about what is being done with their money and whether they will see any of it back. At that point the money will stop and there will be an economic crash and at that point Saakashvili will be in serious trouble.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlexander Mercouris

@ AM

Thank you for your comment.

An interesting view about why new projects are being built and the rest is left to rot. We were passing over a bridge right below the presidential palace on our way to a new cathedral which is further on the hill behind the presidential palace (it is also full of Russian icons). The passage for pedestrians on the bridge was dark and smelled of urine. But the new shiny Freedom Bridge was seen from that old bridge. I was wondering, why they did not repair the one we were standing on, and built Freedom Bridge instead, your explanation has made me wiser on this.

I also think that at a certain point in the near future, somebody is going to call the loans in.

September 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Mostly agree with what is written above. However, Georgia has it's own icon tradition that far predates the Christening of Russia, so I really don't think there are any "Russian" icons in the Sameba (Trinity) Cathedral which you are obviously referring to Leos. : - )

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYouKnowWho

@ YouKnowWho

I am aware of Georgian tradition, I have some of these icons at home, but I can tell a Georgian icon from a Russian one, and believe me, there were many of examples of the latter in the Trinity Cathedral. But they are common sight throughout Georgia. ;-) That's not to say there are no Georgian ones there, much more than Russian, many of them and in prominent spaces usually.

September 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Oh my, Saakashvili has borrowed some build some new buildings of all things....unlike the rest of the western world....(Bad, bad Saakashvili!)......:-)

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAppalled Hack

@ Hack

That's nice that you are appalled, would you please stop filling my threads with your crap?

September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

I'll comply with your wish as soon as you stop flooding the blogosphere with your's, Okay??

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCompliant Hack

@ Hack

No, that's not OK, you don't get to set conditions here. But I can reserve the right to withhold your comments and give space to somebody who actually has something smart to say.

September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Seriously Leos, what was it in my opening comment that caused you to reply in such a caustic fashion?

Perhaps , as the moderator of this blog you should set into motion a new policy where only 'smart' and applaudatory remarks will be accepted
(like a modern day sort of Okhrana) :-)

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCompliant Hack

@ Hack

Your comment was stupid and pointless, you are literally a waste of space here if you comment here in such a manner.

September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

You Must be having another bad day....(you should be able to get what you need in the Caucases keep you more 'cheery') :-)

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHashless Hack

@ Hack

I don't think that will change the fact that you are an obnoxious moron. ;-)

September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

Must be withdrawal from your video games then? Didn't you bring a portable gameboy with you??.....:-) :-)

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGameless Hack

@ Hack

Maybe you should buy a gameboy, and play instead of writing stupidities on my blog. ;-)

September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

But Leos, I already own a 'gameboy' that provides me with hours of senseless's the Leos Tomicek model! :-)

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGameboy Hack

@ Hack

How very mature of you.

September 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeoš Tomíček

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