President Saakashvili told his government members on December 30 that promises to voters undertaken by the authorities in early 2006 have been kept.
At a government session that was broadcasted live, Saakashvili appeared with a flipchart featuring a list of those projects which the government, as he said, was planning in the beginning of 2006.
Then he started to list 2006 targets and marking projects that have been completed with a black marker, and those which are still underway with a red marker.
Outdoor lighting systems in Tbilisi and other towns in Georgia, Patriot Camps, the launch of construction of a new highway linking Tbilisi with western Georgia, rehabilitation of subway stations in Tbilisi, free canteens for the socially vulnerable, increased pensions, 140 outdoor soccer fields in Tbilisi, 300 rehabilitated schools, the launch of construction of new airports in Tbilisi and Batumi, successful grape harvest, training programs through which, as Saakashvili said, over 10 000 people found jobs, construction of new citrus processing factories, the launch of construction of “up to 60 new hotels,” dozens of new and rehabilitated hospitals – the President listed these projects in the demonstration as promises fulfilled.
“We are not a government that is just promising things - we are the government that is keeping its promises… Next year there is no reason to make a flipchart like this, because there will be no place here for all the projects we are planning [in 2007],” he said.
Saakashvili also said that he is “satisfied with the work of the entire government.”
He also noted that despite Russia’s embargo, Georgia’s economy grew “10% this year, and I want everyone to know this.”
The IMF said in mid-December that despite external shocks related to the loss of Russian export markets, Georgia’s economy “remains robust” and real GDP growth could be about 8% in 2006.
“This was a decisive year for our country… Our partners from Russia imposed an embargo to harm our economy, there was certain damage, but their major goal, which was to collapse our economy, has failed,” Saakashvili said.