- Posted July 6, 2012 by
Kremlin's new hope of controlling Georgia
French newspaper Le Monde has published an open letter entitled Reinforce Democracy in Georgia by the president of the European People`s Party - the letter was published before the political debates on the situation in Georgia, in which Wilfried Martens commented on the political situation in the country.
`Deliberate lies, incompatible reports and purposeful processes are more then often used against the leader of the 2003 Rose Revolution and the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. A while ago, president of the Europe`s Liberal Party Graham Watson, the lawmaker, whose personality I appreciate indeed, surprised me with an article published in this newspaper, where he used classical arsenal of arguments, which are mechanically used by the opponents of Georgia`s current government.
But my astonishment was promptly scattered after I read the name of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is often descried as the main rival of Saakashvili. This neo-oligarch tries to bet on the upcoming parliamentary elections with the help of Moscow and he has no problems in this because the Forbes has reported his property is 6,4, billion EURO, when the budget of the state of Georgia is just 5,7 billion EURO, this is just to compare. This must not be a problem, but it becomes a problem, when such resources are directed for less legal activities. During the past few weeks, the mobiles phones of European MPs, other authorities, intellectuals and other senior officials ring non-stop and their mobile e-mails are overloaded with mails - a whole army of lobbyists and communicators tries to convince us that the young democracy is not what we see, that the term of its Euro-Atlantic integration should be put in inverted commas and that only one man can save this and he is philanthropist, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Such description of events should only cause a smile, but unfortunately, this disproportionate attempt, which is the product of unified work of several dozens of PR offices, some of them provided by expensive companies from Brussels, Paris, Berlin, London and Washington, is only the response of those tens of millions of EURO, which is spent in Georgia and unfortunately spent for other purposes then just a philanthropy.
Vote-buying, offering hundreds of times higher salaries to public officers in case they resign, and tens of thousands of satellite antennas, refrigerators and TV sets, which the political party presents to the voters, parallel structures, which were formed for election monitoring and which were sponsored by the same structures - this is the reality, which describes Georgian Dream, Ivanishvili`s party, the analysis of the statements of some of its leaders may just shock many European MPs.
We know everything; money and politics are incompatible with each other. Georgia`s example, yet unknown but clear anyway, reminds us the threats of such connections. Therefore, I address the Europe`e political leaders - what is the signal we want to send to the leaders of the countries, who a few years ago decided to take part in the Eastern Partnership, in structured relations with our Eastern neighbors? What are the prospects we are giving to them?
Georgia is still occupied by Russian army, which violates the terms of the August 12, 2008 agreement - the issue, which deserves much more interest from those who recently expresses their interest to this region - this is the test of independence for the country, which should give an answer to the questions if the development of young European Democracy to develop in the post-Soviet state, whether the corruption is the evil that can be overcome. I had an opportunity to pay visits to Georgia after 2008 and see the significant progress in the sphere of politics, economics and culture, which is being recognized by all international organizations. This can be envies by many western democracies.
The problem which Georgia is facing today is bigger than ever before - how can the young democratic institutions sustain such flow of money, which is available for instability? To what extent their lobbyists and communicators can affect European politics?
Georgia is striving to join the European Union and the country must meet all our directions, democratic norms and values for this. Parliamentary elections are due to be held this autumn. As the leader of the European People`s Party, I have only one message - European parliament and European institutions, Council of Europe and the OSCE should send as many observers as possible. Let give a chance to this young democracy express its point of view in order not to depend on the decisions taken by others, those who try to deprave politics and tries to determine the results by international missions in advance. This young European nation had to face much injustice recently and let`s try to protect them from more problems by rash activities.
I am proud to represent the political family, European People`s Party, the member of which is President Saakashvili. I am proud when I see that the EPP is beside the Georgian people, who stand on the road of European integration. This support is not for sale - I know that president Saakashvili will succeed to reinforce democracy in Georgia.
Russian businessman in exile, Boris Berezovski, who knows Ivanishvili well, stated that he does not believe that he is independent. He is convinced that Ivanishvili will turn Georgia once again into a vassal state of Russia.
Ivanishvili's press offices speak of a successful tour of Georgia, but camera's have registered how he had to be protected by his bodyguards and quickly removed from sites because angry crouds were shouting at him. Ivanishvili has also been caught threatening journalists, saying thing like: 'as soon as I get the power, I will get to you'. This is a serious attack on free media and free speech.