The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili's address to Kutaisi population


I am astonished with the beauty of Opera House...

Today I have opened a construction of a new house of the government here in Kutaisi.

You might thoughts that only Parliament was moving here, but first we juggled Parliament, now - the government and step-by-step we are fulfilling the project of turning Kutaisi into the capital of Georgia.

Today it is an important day, because the government house will open next year. 

The Parliament building will need year and a half, but at this stage we will have the most beautiful building of the Parliament around the world.

Why in Kutaisi?

I want everyone to understand where is Kutaisi located; geographically the center of Georgia is a bit away from Khashuri towards West, but the nearest city to Georgia's center is Kutaisi.

Development is going on in the direction of seaside. The major part of our seaside is in dragon's clutches and in part of Kartli they look on us from the very top. To envisage all of this, to envisage the fact that Tbilisi needs to unload and this region needs to develop - it is a very important decision.

They might ask how good it is to move the Parliament to Kutaisi, by the way the journalists are carrying out inquires on the streets. Many people say that they like this decision, because Tbilisi will unload (by the way one of the initiators of this idea was the Mayor of Tbilisi), some people think that it will be more expensive for MPs to travel to Kutaisi all the time.

But who said and who legalized the fact that the MPs must be Tbilisi citizens?

This is exactly the echo of thinking that everything must happen only in Tbilisi, even on one small place of Tbilisi - on Rustaveli Avenue - starting from former "Iveria" hotel - ending to the Freedom Square. When everything happens on these territories it is difficult to hold everyone and move to another place. It is very difficult to travel to your job not from Vake or Tskneti, but to Kutaisi. MPs must not be from Tbilisi only, but from every region of Tbilisi. This parliament represents the whole Georgia and because the whole country is not very large, though it is very diverse in regards of development is unlimitedly interesting country - everything must be in order.

We are not moving only parliament to Kutaisi. You know that we have very interesting infrastructure around Kutaisi. 

Today we have visited restored part of Sataplia complex. We have planned the reconstruction of it 9 months ago and already fulfilled it.

A very interesting cave of Prometheus was made there.

A complex of caves is being constructed above Khoni and in Martvili. We are developing unique gorges of Tskhenistskali and Abashistskali.

Vani architecture is very interesting and it will become a big tourist complex.

There are agricultural centers and zones everywhere here. In one word the development process of the whole region is going on and the new road that will pass Kutaisi Parliament in 3 km from Zestaponi via Samtredia will reach Choloki (we are building a bypass to Adjara), we will come to Batumi passing Kobuleti and will come to the boarder via bypass again.

I am not saying anything about Samtskhe-Javakheti parallel road and envisaging the fact that this region is closer to Kutaisi with its geographic location - the importance of it gets higher and higher.

I am not giving you a lesson of geography.

Georgia belongs to each of us.

Despite the good weather it is November already, but you know that it is never really cold in Kutaisi? The main advantage of this city is exactly this fact, I am not saying anything about a special human climate and the warmth of the locals here.

Several years ago we really had such a filing (among them many of my friends) that nothing would help Kutaisi out - everybody thought that it would remain the same way always - poor and misfortuned.

Look now - how beautiful it is now!

Look at the center!

Look what a buildings will parliament and government have in future here; how beautiful will be Chamber of Control building.

Today I saw a bridge that was constructed in front of Chamber of Control. Boulevard will start exactly from there and will come all the way to Kutaisi center and we will have very wide, new avenue.

30 km bike-road is being constructed, it will be surrounded by palm-trees, lightened exactly like it is in Batumi new boulevard.

Of course in future tramways will be in Kutaisi as well, like it will be in Tbilisi and Batumi.

At the same time airport must be constructed in such a way that permanent flights must be fixed here, flights from Europe must accomplished as well.

It was a big sensation when the first flight was accomplished ten years ago - Kopitnari-Paris. The main pride for the governor then was that "TU-154" flew from Kopitnari to Paris, they brought roast piglets and chickens to Paris and this was a huge breakout towards Europe. 

Very soon we will have 6 flights a week to Europe.

Remember it well, please, that this will be a regular thing for each of us.

Lets return to Rose revolution anniversary. What was the difference and what has changed in Georgia recently? 

I would like to speak about our government, because today we have started construction of Government House. Georgian government will remain in Tbilisi, but its permanent representation will be here and this is exactly philosophy that our government carries out.

What was Georgian government before the Rose Revolution?

It was a government that was packed with people. It was a tool of employment, because there was no other place for people to find jobs - so people were working for the state apparatus. They were getting low salaries, in some cases they didn't have any salaries at all, but it was considered that they were on search of living in order to get rich on peoples' accounts. In most cases they were only feeding themselves, because there were only few people who got rich. Money was made by very small number of people - this was the first thing.

Second thing, the government was always on one place. They weren't interested what was happening around. Georgia was divided into feudal provinces.

One feudal was here, another one in other place. Some regions and districts were officially given to some bandits. For example in Mengrelia there was a governor, but he didn't represent anything. The major part of Mengrelia was ruled by Badri Zarandia - he was a one-legged, killer and drug user. He was deciding what should happen there...

So the government was large and at the same time immobile. 

Shevardnadze was sitting in his office, most of the time. He used to go to his office at 8 or 10 o'clock. He would left by 10 in the evening and would go home to sleep.

He was spending time having some uncertain meetings. I am not criticizing him - I only express what was going on in past and I don't want the same to happen in future.

It was an extremely corrupt and clannish government. There were small groups, clans - Tariel Oniani group, Kalashov's group and others. This was how the country was ruled.

Third - in the result of all of this it was an extremely none effective government.            

This was a very provincial government - provincialism was very much characteristic for them, because it had extremely low self-appraisal of itself and people.

You probably remember what my previous used to say: All Georgia is corrupted, teachers, policemen are corrupted... It meant that if he and his family were corrupted, it wouldn't be surprising at all. They thought that nothing would come out of these people.

Deriving from their own personal view, this government was extremely backward and wasn't looking for something new. They had very careful attitude towards anything new.

I was the member of that government, I was trying to carry out some reforms and I know the best how difficult the implementation of innovations was.

This was a government that couldn't manage to form a state.    

What are the major principles of today's' government of post revolution period?

The advantage of our government (construction of house of which opened today) is small. The number one principle is government to be small. We have radically reduced number of officials. We don't need many people in the government; administrative expenditures must be lowered permanently. Bureaucracy is like a dragon: If you don't cut dragon's clutches that grow every time, permanently, your will get back to the initial position. Bureaucrats always have an attempt to widen their feudal province. This is a feature of good and bad democracy. This is why this process needs permanent control.

Second is extremely mobile government. Why is Government's House moving to Kutaisi? Because our government must permanently be in motion. We are a small country from geographical point of view. It must be everywhere, it must listen to the people everywhere and must resolve problems of the population from the close distance. This is exactly what is called national character.

Third principle is that government must be incorrupt, must not be clannish and criminal. We have reached this already. Though it should be irreversible process.

Number four principle for our government is to be innovative. This is a government that must look for something new permanently, it must watch carefully on what is new in the world, in order for Georgia to obtain advantage in general competition.

The Principle of our government is global thinking, as for the main principle of previous government was provincialism - so is the principle of this government global thinking. It means that our main ambition and mission is not obtaining a challenge flag among 15 republics, like it was in the past, but that we are number one reformers according to the World Bank survey.

Our opponents try to avoid this information and say that this is a next trick. Despite the fact that the approach of some international organizations are often non-objective and it is hard to send the truth abroad, no one wants to see that something comes out of this country. At this point they have admitted that none of the countries around the world has carried out so many reforms in regards of improving business climate and in economy sector, as Georgia did.  

Our mission is to be among first ten countries in regards of simplicity of doing business - we are on the first place in Eastern Europe, but we must find our place among first ten countries, close to Singapore.

Our mission is to be among twenty incorrupt countries.

I think we are pretty close to this now.

It is very difficult to judge this matter objectively, but according to the survey of our poulation, 98 percent states that they haven't heard about the corruption at all during recent years. Only 0.5 percent of our population is like this that says they dealt with corruption at some point.

This is the lowest indicator in Europe and the lowest indicator in the whole world.

Of course we must be within first 20 countries in this respect.

I have many other ambitions. Georgia must settle renewable energies, ecologically clear technologies and Georgians must learn the innovation.

Georgians should learn invention. We need education, education and once again education for it. 

So, the 6 major principles of my government is exactly this - small number, mobility, effectiveness, non-corruption, innovativeness and global thinking.

This is very important and these are the principles that were set by the Rose Revolution. 

These are the principles because of which Georgia has survived and these are the principles for which we have to continue successful development. Within first nine months we had about 6 percentage growth, but it is a low digit.

We must have two-digit indicator of economic growth. Though not only 6 percentage


growth, but the majority of countries around the world miss even two and three percentage growth.

But we are different, we have different requirements, we are inpatient in a different way and we were in marshland for quite long time - this is why we want to come out of it.

Sure, it is change of mentality at the same time and mostly they don't understand this.

For example, when some deputy ministers are arrested, they say: look, they are arresting each other already, you see how bad they are doing. This critics don't understand that they have problems themselves; there are no people in our government who belongs to one another. There are principles only and if somebody brakes this principle - no matter is this a minister, or President's relative or even the President, Prime Minister or MP - all of them will pay this way.

I often say that "thieves mentality" is washed away.

Some people got insulted - "why have you said "washed away" - about us?"

And why you think I said it about you?

They say: listen what Saakashvili said - how these people sitting in the cages look like? Look how is he speaking about his own people...

Gentlemen, you have a very bad ideas about Georgian people.

For me those several persons sitting in the cages and using drugs are not representing Georgia. If you think these are Georgian people - you are making a huge mistake. These are not Georgian people - this is a fiction born into your minds.

I have no good idea bout htose people who sits in cages and tries destabilization from there using some slogans. I do not think that they represent 99.9 percent of our population.

Our people stand far away from all of this.

The government opened a chance to the society to become better and the society used this chance in a perfect way and will use it better in future.

As a result of these changes, a huge energy of our people got free.

Now we have to learn using this energy.

For example in summer I learned to manage an airplane.

It is not something that is really necessary, but I was glad that I have learned something at this age so fast. I also practice foreign languages permanently.

I recently visited new school "Spektri", where people of age 50-55 are obtaining new professions. Some study fitters' profession, some study how to drive bulldozer; we must be open to such things permanently, first of all children and youngsters.

This is why I want to tell you simply that we shouldn't like celebrating some dates - we mustn't stand in the position of self-satisfaction, because we still have many problems to solve and finally we are involved in existential fight.

When I speak about global thinking - I don't want us only to be proud of this. Our occupant carries out a fight in a global way against us.

Today NATO Parliamentary Assembly reviews the issue of the resolution on occupation and ethnic cleansing - these are the terms used by them. You should know how much lobbing is going on in the capitals and US, in order not to add these terms in any of those resolutions.

Every African country was called in UN and were told: two students from your country will come to Russia to get education. None of your students will come for 200 years if you support Georgia in any resolutions.

They have declared a global fight against us, because they do not need territories only, they want to kill our success and Georgia, as an idea.

Georgia is not only territory and a country, Georgia is a very important idea for Ukrainians, Moldavians, for Caucasus, Middle Asian and among them for Russia as well.

They don't want us to be successful, but we will be successful and Kutaisi is the most interesting symbol for us in this respect.

This city will become one of the very important centers of Georgia.

Sure, Georgia is not represented by any separate place - not by Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Sighnaghi, Mestia, or even by our occupied territories - Georgia is everything together.

All of us is creating our country everywhere.

Previously Kutaisi population was upset - he is flying to Batumi all the time and never wants to come to Kutaisi.

Kutaisi is step-by-step catching up with Batumi.

Now Zesaponi or Tkibuli population could be upset on me for some reasons - though Tkibuli is developing and many places develop around it as well.

Sachkhere, Bagjdati, Vani are developing in very interesting ways. We will start working on Tskaltubo soon. Now Kvareli and Telavi are developing and Dedoplistskaro might become upset...

Finally, all of us together will build our country!

Kutaisi will need many private offices as well - we are constructing parliament and government buildings, but you will see how many private companies will come to Kutaisi.

I wish you success.

Thank you very much!  

Send link to the email
Captcha* Verification Code
2013 (30)
2012 (42)
2011 (49)
2010 (32)
2009 (26)
2008 (27)
2007 (31)
2006 (25)
2005 (32)
2004 (4)