Currency Crisis? What Currency Crisis?

The Georgian Lari is continuing to lose its value and the situation is becoming severe. The devalued national currency is becoming dangerous for the government as well as regular people who have had to bear the burden of everything that has taken place in Georgia for the last 25 years. But this historical experience of adversity does not allow the Georgian Dream government any respite since hyperinflation can overthrow any government.

Supporters of the Georgian Dream themselves admitted that no such currency crisis was experienced in Saakahsvili’s time. If Saakashvili and the late Kakha Bendukidze took economic decisions now, there would be no Universal Healthcare Program, which, as it happens, is funded by loans taken from commercial banks. The budget would be Singaporean, i.e. Libertarian – without any ‘social populism’. The Georgian president or prime minister “Misha” would proudly state that the “Lari has withstood the blow since unlike all other neighboring currencies it devalued only a bit!” And the “television of the winning people” Rustavi 2 would loyally publicize this victory. Generally, the ignorance of PR is clear within the Georgian Dream as well. This is proven by the first steps in pre-election activities, which, according to all observers, started positively for the United National Movement. If we put it in the political analyst Soso Tsintsadze’s words, “The Nationals put a countdown to the end of this government”. Against the background of the devaluation of Georgian Lari, the 23-hour release of Ugulava from prison was a big blow to the already shattered ratings of the Georgian Dream. “Attack from the National Movement is frontal; it does not happen only in one direction. They drop several stories to the media space at once – one of the themes is a priority, others – peripheral. Hands of high-class PR technologists are felt there. It is mosaic PR technology – a very serious technology and it seems that serious people are working on that. Unfortunately, it should be said that the government does not master the art of PR technology at all and the PR groups that they cooperate with, that they pay so much money, do not master that art as well,” political expert Mamuka Areshidze told newspaper Alia.

The 23-hour release of the former mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava served the litmus function to reveal the processes that take place in the cabinet of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the Georgian Dream as a whole. Let us observe one strange thing in this regard. The Ministry of Justice is for some reason not hurrying to address the President with a request to deprive Mikheil Saakashvili of his citizenship of Georgia. Minister Tsouloukiani is making vague explanations about it and her structure is confusedly mentioning some bureaucratic shortcomings from Kyiv. Bizarrely, the Constitution of Ukraine states that only a citizen of Ukraine can take a state-political position.

Saakashvili has noted his intention to run as a candidate again, which is his right for as long as he is a Georgian citizen and is an MP.

Something is taking place in the Georgian Dream, naturally related to the parliamentary elections of 2016. The Georgian Dream is busy with the 2016 elections rush and takes no interest in processes beyond elections, even the worsening devaluation of the national currency.

No voice of the ruling coalition will admit that the Lari problem is in fact a problem. They do not state it directly (as it is not favorable for them); instead they mask their words with uncertain phrases about “incorrect expenses” and “wrong decisions”.

Who can say directly that the government should have introduced the healthcare program, should not have processed lands for free, and should not limit the sales of Georgian land to foreigners?

The fate of the national currency remains critical and there remains a lack of responsibility and any sign of a way out from the powers that be.

Zaza Jgharkava

24 September 2015 21:25