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“Supporters of Saakashvili Have Dignity Problems When They Try To Convince People that US State Department Is Crowd of Stupid People"


Natia Dolidze, “All News”

A leader of the Republic Party of Georgia Levan Berdzenishvili returned to Georgia several days ago. He spent five months in the USA in the framework of the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) program. This Foundation is the largest organization for the promotion of democratic development throughout the world.

Levan Berdzenishvili received the scholarship after winning a serious competition. We started the interview with the evaluation of his five-month stay in the USA.

-I lived in Washington, had my office with several colleagues there. It was five months of very hard but interesting work. I held almost one hundred meetings with influential and famous members of the American political elite, political scientist and representatives of the NGO-sector. Reading the Report of the US State Department, I found some information which I shared with local politicians. I met famous people in the US State Department among them are: Kissinger, Brzezinski, Zdanovich, all former ambassadors who worked in Georgia, and others.

I had chance to travel around the country and give lectures at the Columbia, Harvard and Stanford Universities. The program participants had to present the result of our five-month work at the special presentation. I presented analyze of the Impact of the Rose Revolution with the title: “A Not-So Rosy Result: Georgia Seven Years after the Rose Revolution.” Representatives of the US State Department and famous foundations, non-governmental organizations and all research institutes who play kea role in external and internal policy of the USA. American TV-Companies, ARTVI and French TF1 also attended the presentation though the journalists of the Georgian Imedi-TV and Rustavi 2 did not attend it. Representative of our Embassy in the USA and former journalist Natia Zambakhidze attended the presentation. I made a well-grounded statement at the presentation and said nothing good can be expected from the government of Georgia.

The government intends to turn Georgia into Singapore that is a big nonsense and will not work.  I also added that new ideas of the Georgian government about tourism is unreal, criticized the state policy in the education system, criticized several American organizations, among them National Democratic Institute; after what I had to meet the director of the NDI Tbilisi office Luis Navarro; I cannot say we argued much but we had a serious discussion.

Navarro claimed they never supported the government of Georgia. Although many questions rose about ratings in their recent survey, I think it was better than their previous ones and some critical elements were observed in it. I might have some contribution in it. Before, nobody dared to criticize Washington-based organizations in Washington, particularly those who received funds from those organizations.

-I remember once MP Giorgi Kandelaki said when discussing the Report of the US State Department that wrong information was sent to the Department…

-Giorgi Kandelaki perfectly knows how it works in fact. The US State Department listens to many people but includes only those data in their report which are provided by their reliable people. Vakhtang Balavadze said much more – he said this report is not critical at all. He is either stupid who has no idea about the criticism or pretends to be stupid… The new report has new and so harsh elements which have never been in previous reports. First of all, it speaks about the senior-level corruption in the country. Many of us know the examples of the senior-level corruption; for example, we know that Givi Targamadze built three-storied triplex house with the corrupted money…

The report lists those people who were arrested by the government for the corruption. Every high-ranking official of the ministry of education, when Gia Nodia was minister, was arrested except Nodia himself; so, is not it a senior-level corruption? By the way, Gia Nodia is one of the cleverest persons in Georgia but because of this, he is one of the most dishonest people in Georgia because he could not differ true and false from each other and supported the false; the problem is not about his intellect but about his honor. The supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili have problem, who try to convince people that the US State Department is crowd of stupid people who collect rumors and information.

-What do American people think about the current situation in Georgia?

-From my personal formal and inform talks I had impression that they are extremely disappointed with the government of Georgia. The Labor Code of Georgia is the topic which extremely astonishes them. Georgia still acts in accordance to the Labor Code which was designed by Levan Ramishvili, which is draconic and grants extreme power to an employer but deprives all rights from an employee. The situation about the Trade Unions in Georgia is another topic of concern of American people. Furthermore, they do not have rumor information about these problems; they have quite sufficient and reliable information.

They are astonished about the situation in Georgian media. Break-in and closure of the TV-Imedi is considered to be the biggest crime Mikheil Saakashvili ever did. They adopted a new law on media-transparency, try to pretend to be democratic – it is good – but what is the real result from the law? It makes no difference who is owner of the TV-Imedi on documents – particularly when he is former minister and slave of Mikheil Saakashvili.

-The US Ambassador to Georgia John Bass mentioned Libya at the end of his speech and what did he want to say with it?
-I think in diplomatic language Libya is a last chance to revive Mikheil Saakashvili. It happens when they want to seriously warn somebody. I remember American Ambassadors to make similar reprehensive speeches during the Soviet Union. The screening of John Bass’s statement with Georgian subtitles might have insulted the Georgian national companies Imedi-TV and Rustavi 2 and it was unprecedented fact. Can you imagine, they released the statement with their own translation which was checked in advance at the embassy in order to prevent national TV-Companies from mistranslating the statement?

-What can be result of this report?

-It is kind of yellow card for our government which can soon be followed by red card and America will stop our funding. Saakashvili will not revive until they impose strict sanctions on us.

I heard Saakashvili is offended with John Bass as well as with his own supporters – how did they dare to allow similar fact to happen? He got angry about my speech in the USA and sent Georgia’s ambassador in America to the NED office who said nasty things about me there.

-Heretofore America supported Saakashvili’s government because there was no political alternative in our country. What do they think about it in America?

-Nobody will sincerely tell you what they like and dislike. The USA supports the leader whom Georgian population will follow. Political carrier of Mikheil Saakashvili finished in 2007. After that he could remain in the government but without any legitimacy; US people have similar opinion about it. The August War and new government in the USA assisted him to prolong his authority in Georgia.

-Revolutionary development of the processes is much discussed in Georgia now. Two political parties have already announced upcoming revolution.

-It is not serious to inform Mikheil Saakashvili about the date of revolution in advance. Unbearable social-economic situation in the country allows us to think that people will soon get fed up with it and go out in the street; though the real situation is completely different. There is no pre-revolutionary situation in Georgia now; or I fail to see it and Burjanadze and Orkuashvili were wise enough to foresee it.

Nino Burjanadze announced about revolution but I think it is useless. By the way, it is interesting that not only the government is waiting for the final collapse of Burjanadze but the second artist of the new revolution and Trotsky of the Georgian Politics Irakli Okruashvili. He wants to start revolution after Burjanadze fails.

Politicians are not fed up with their political games but population is really bothered. Although it can be politically disadvantageous, I prefer to see Georgian population full of revolutionary spirit rather than looking at the downtrodden country. When you live in Paris with the money you have stolen in Georgia, nobody will die for you here.

-When speaking about Political Eight, Okruashvili called them people from naphthalene…

-As a rule, worn out things are store in the naphthalene; so, those who were not in the government at all, cannot be people from naphthalene. Subsequently, former governmental officials should not use similar terms with regard to other people… By the way, we all remember Irakli Orkuashvili intended to meet New Year in Tskhinvali but apparently he realized that Paris was better than Tskhinvali and went there.

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