TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili Tuesday February 28 gave his address to parliament and summarized the country’s situation as required by the Georgian Constitution.
The leader grouped his political plans into five main points: Tackling unemployment, developing agriculture, improving health care, building democracy, and a safe security environment.
Some of the topics he mentioned was reform in the rules about TV ownership, improving minority rights, reform of the court system, to open the field for new players in politics and have pluralism, as well as election monitoring both during the campaign period and on election day in the coming parliamentary and presidential elections this year and next, respectively.
The president also warned against doing anything to damage the investment environment. He also aired several ideas about health care, including a maternity grant and insurance for large families.
Addressing the problem of unemployment, he mostly talked about tourism as a way out. Referring to statistics showing Georgia had three million visitors in 2011, he said the country should increase this number by one million each year, so by 2015 Georgia would receive five to six million tourists. To do this would require a massive investment in infrastructure and the creation of new special economic zones, which would offer tax and other benefits like there is today in Poti.
One such new zone would be the new city Lazika, which still is only an idea, but which Saakashvili said in a speech last December will become the most important trade center on the Black Sea.