Probably everyone remembers on November 5, 2018, before the second round of the presidential election (when the first round failed), the address of the then chairman of the Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to the population that in the second round of elections there is a high risk that voters will make a wrong decision in the face of the threat that the government has departed from the people and lost trust, justice has not been restored, misery remains the main challenge of the country, etc., and that he made various promises. His address played a decisive role and Zurabishvili won in the second round.
On November 3, 2018, the 3rd day after Bidzina Ivanishvili addressed the population of Georgia, the Editorial Board of the newspaper “Georgia and the World” addressed an open letter to Bidzina Ivanishvili, asking 28 questions about the problems that the Georgian population had been facing for a long time. We offer excerpts from this extensive letter, in which many questions are still relevant today, and let us analyze together which problems have been solved during these three years and which have not.
“We can not allow these mistakes to take advantage of the power that actually wants to destroy all the values that are so precious!” – You mentioned in the appeal of November 5 and took the responsibility to correct all the shortcomings of the management in one year. We would like to ask you a few questions on these issues and listen carefully to your answers:
- Do you think that Orthodoxy today needs protection in principle and in deeds and not just in oral statements?
- Do you think that Orthodoxy is the basis of Georgians’ morals and way of life and should it be so and not otherwise?
- Do you consider the removal of Gogebashvili’s “Deda Ena” from schools as a “management shortcoming”? Do you restore “Deda Ena” teaching for first graders?
- Will you change the school curricula and textbooks in the direction that the child grows up with us in the spirit of the Georgian traditional way of life and not in the spirit of “How good it is” for any dissimilarity?
- Do you promise that the state will refuse to destroy the traditional family under the pretext of combating domestic violence and will not allow the removal of a child from the family and the separation of the family from the upbringing of a child by introducing juvenile justice?
- Do you promise that there will be no drug plantations in the homeland of vines?
- Do you promise to ban the use of drugs and, in general, drug propaganda in all its forms (if you have just seen the Georgian film “Drug use pump”)?
- Do you promise that in the land of the All-Holy Mother of God there will be no nests of sin called casinos and totalizators?
- Will you restrict the unruly movements of homosexuals and a thousand other perverts from giving them shelter here and creating greenhouse conditions?
- Do you prevent uncontrolled granting the of Georgian citizenship to foreigners?
- Despite the declared economic growth, why is the country’s foreign debt, prices for products, natural gas, electricity (announced for further growth) and everything else increasing, and wages and incomes of ordinary people not increasing? Do you think that the state policy towards the expenditures and incomes of the population is radically changeable? If so, specifically how?
- According to the published data, out of the ten most imported goods in the country in 2018, all ten are food products: wheat, flour, meat, oil, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and so on. in addition, in the store, for example, Georgian tomatoes cost 6 GEL, while imported tomatoes cost 3 GEL. Do you think that this is abnormal and that Georgia has the potential to produce its own basic food products? Are you going to radically change the state policy in this direction?
- Recently, the „National Wine Agency“ published statistics on how many bottles we exported in which country. The report mentions countries with 33 to 300-400 thousand bottles of wine Recently, the National Wine Agency published statistics on how many bottles we exported in which country. The report mentions countries purchased from 33 to 300-400 thousand bottles of wine as strategic markets for Georgia. Nineteen countries are listed in total, eighteen of them purchased a total of 19.5 million bottles, and the nineteenth country, Russia – 42 million 300 thousand bottles, i.e. twice as many as all the others, but for some reason Russia is not mentioned in strategic markets. Do you consider such an approach normal and beneficial for the country’s economy?
- Are you going to bring the activities of the banks, first of all, the National Bank, under strict state control and put them at the service of the Georgian economy?
- We have not adopted the Constitution and the law in Georgia, if we are not approved by the Venice Commission, the court will issue a verdict and Strasbourg will stop us. Do you independently consider a country that, not according to its needs, adopts the law according to the approval of outside forces, that is, it establishes the rule of obligatory behavior in the country of others (and not its own population) and whose court decision is suspended by institutions? Will such a court or such a law have the respect of the people and the voluntary consent to comply?
- Do you think that a legal framework should be created to hold the media accountable for spreading outright lies? Please understand us correctly, not censorship, but to answer not for delivering the truth to the public, but for deceiving the people?
- Where are your promises to restore territorial integrity and resolve relations with Russia? What are you going to do specifically in this direction?
- Do you think that an effective mechanism can be created for the responsibility of a civil servant at all levels, if he can not cope with the work assigned to him?
- You have taken responsibility for yourself before the country and the people before, but you have resigned and formally avoided responsibility, the case has deteriorated, no one is responsible. Now you promise us the same for the second time and you take responsibility again. We wonder, what exactly is your responsibility if you do not fulfill your promises this time as well? How do you answer, in what form, by what action?
All the questions we asked 3 years ago are more acute today. It is true that some things have changed, but we can not call these changes substantial, ten more formal and illusory are such as, for example, an increase in pensions by 20 GEL – by about 10%, while prices for products, medicines, utilities have increased by 50- 100% and more and this growth continues. Gogebashvili’s “Deda Ena” has returned to schools, but in a way that nine out of ten schools do not teach him. Juvenile justice, so-called LGBT propaganda, and cannabis plantations have not been legalized in the country, but only because of the categorically irreconcilable position of the society and mainly the Patriarchate. This year, the government has slowly begun to refuse to comply with instructions that are harmful to the West, but only because their personal power and well-being have been threatened.
As for drug use, casinos and workplaces, these issues were discussed only at the sitting held on November 22 of this year by the Government of Georgia, and here is what the Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said on these issues:
“Drug legislation has become quite liberal and our young people, instead of playing sports, studying, working, are busy with harmful substances, so the sale of psychotropic drugs should be tightened. . .
Our citizens, young people play online every day and lose money, this amount is 1.5 billion GEL. . . The Minister of Finance will submit a legislative initiative to increase taxes for online casinos. The vast majority of them are foreign companies and, unfortunately, the money of our citizens is flowing abroad – 1.5 billion GEL. In the first stage, we think, we will increase taxes, ban advertising and raise the threshold to 25 years. In the second stage, online casinos should be banned altogether.
Instead of social assistance, we should offer jobs to able-bodied citizens. We present to the public an already proven program experienced in successful European countries. We need to create a flexible system that will allow citizens, on the one hand, to receive the assistance they receive in the form of a salary, but for a specific activity, and, in addition, to additionally look for a new job”.
One thing must be emphasized: both in the case of Bidzina Ivanishvili and in the present case, and in general for the last 30 years in general, the government has come up with similar proposals for caring for the people before the elections or when its welfare was threatened and forgot its promise as soon as the danger passed. i.e. lied to us relentlessly.
Let’s hope that the current initiatives of the government will not be just to say the word and deceive the people once again. If the government at least this time moves to actions that will benefit the people and the country, we will only welcome it; We are welcome, but based on past bitter experiences, a worm of doubt does not rest on us.
Editorial Board of “Georgia and the World”