Chess players and the President´s Palace
The economic situation is improving. But the political development has taken a different course since the end of the Georgian-Russian war. Hopes and good spirits are gone. They had driven so many people to make efforts for improvements. s. „Das Schweigen des Presslufthammers“, Birgit Wetzel, 2008. Many people worry about the state gaining more and more control, less and less media can write about what they want to write about, and broadcast what they want to broadcast, and less and fewer people dare to say what they think, and what they would have said openly and in public three years ago.
Fear is going around. Since media cannot write about it, rumors are going around. Where did the oppositions parties go? Why is their life so hard? Is it true, that people are beaten in prisons? Is it true that families of critics are threatened or families even put under pressure?
Some people are sure, that this is what happens. Some even talk about dictatorship. That is a strong word, maybe too strong. But it shows, how much Georgians worry. They had hoped for democracy, with a revolutionary and president, who was their „Misha“ not long ago.
Georgian Parlament in Tbilisi
In his first years after the rose revolution of 2004 Michael Saakashvili did a lot of good for all Georgians, no doubts. And he gave hope to the people, that their lives would improve. The fight against corruptions was very successful, as well as a quick and extensive privatisation and the liberalization of foreign trade. But now Misha builds luxurious government buildings and hotels, stylish bridges and big fountains with colored fontanas.
New bridge across the Kura river in the center of Tbilisi
Is he still the same President who led our revolution, people ask, especially those, who live in old, run down buildings owned by the state, who can hardly afford rising prices for food, for the rent, for electricity, for gas and water. Why is there no help from „Misha“ for them ? Why is there no repair of the state-owned buildings? Why is there no free press any more? Why are there no more Russian movies on TV? Most of the older generation do not understand English, and not the American soaps. Only few people are longing back for the old times. But many do want elections, where they have a real choice between many parties and a lot of new faces.
Colored fountains – many wonder why