“In Georgia So Called Government Corruption Has Increased”

International organization “Transparency International Georgia” surveyed the public’s view on corruption. Under the opinion poll, Georgia ranks the first amongst 86 countries. Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia have far lower rate compared to Georgia.

[Gega Beridze. 12:13 17.12.2010]

According to the survey of “ Global Corruption Barometer”, Georgia’s corruption level is at 3%. Russia at 26%, Armenia at 22% but Azerbaijan at 47%. 91 residents were interviewed in the survey.

The opposition is talking about the increase of so called government corruption in Georgia. In its assessment “elite corruption and monopoly are pernicious for the country’s economy”. In Ramaz Sakvarelidze’s words, the Americans noted themselves that corruption shifted from citizens to the elite echelons.

In spite of the well-known survey results made by the international organization “Transparency International Georgia”, Secretary General of “National Movement”, deputy Zurab Melikishvili thinks that corruption has not been curbed thoroughly and interminable works are being implemented in this respect.

When talking with “Pirweli News”, Melikishvili stressed that fight against the corruption is not only a one time action and constant and non stop works must be undertaken against it”.

“Some years ago, almost every sphere was corrupt in Georgia. As a result of active fight we launched against this direction and number of reforms made by us, almost 90% of the population stated that they were far from corruption deals. There was time, when the same evidence proved to be a quite contradiction.

Although, fight must not be stopped against corruption as the fight against this direction is impossible to be perceived as one time action – said Melikishvili to “Pirweli News” and presented an argument about the facts of frequent detainment of officials of various departments by law-enforcing bodies with a charge of corruption.

As the leader of “Republican Party” David Usupashvili says, in Georgia so called government corruption has increased. While making comments on the survey results of “Transparency International Georgia” Mr. Usupashvili told “Pirweli News” that the survey would only give effects of street corruption decrease.

The survey that was conducted by the present organization was carried out according to street poll. Under the present authority, people are less taken away money in the street by officials of governmental bodies in fact, but corruption has increased in the high echelons”, - said Mr. Usupashvili.

In his words too, corruption has grown in the aspect of multi million state order and illegal confiscation- division of property and all these facts were not shown in the poll because “people do not speak about it in the street”, said Mr.Usupashvili.

According to Peter Mamradze’s statement – one of the leaders of “Movement for Just Georgia” according to the survey of “ Transparency International Georgia” the fear factor of the citizens conditioned the decrease of corruption level in Georgia.

Mr. Mamradze told “Pirweli News” that there is a total monopoly in the country and elite corruption is thriving. Though, during the polls, fear factor of the citizens works and they give unfair answers in most cases.

“People can not say they were asked for the bribe. This refers to small entrepreneurs. On the one hand, Georgia may give positive results in the general poll, but corruption is a wide perception. In this respect, elite corruption and monopoly are strong enough that is ruinous for the country’s economy”, said Mr. Mamradze.

“Labour Party” considers the result of the organization “Transparency International Georgia” survey about fight against corruption in Georgia as unreal.

Giorgi Gugava – political secretary of “Labour Party” – said to “Pirweli News” that now Georgia has by far the highest and unprecedented rate of elite corruption. This fact is clearly proved by the castles of government officials that are built or are under construction in Sikharuli street of Dighomi, Tabakhmela and Tskneti.

In Gugava’s words, it is hard to believe that according to the survey Georgia ranks better than other European countries regarding the fight against corruption.
“While Georgia monopolizes Georgia’s economy and uses the budget money as its own one, how can the level of corruption be low in the country?! In Georgia, there is unbelievable elite corruption and no other organization can see and feel it better than we – Georgian population”, - said Giorgi Kukava.

According to political scientist Ramaz Sakvarelidze’s words, monopolies in Georgia arise doubt about the fact that corruption is increasing in Georgia.

As Sakvarelidze told “Pirweli News”, it is pleasant to hear the results of the survey that Georgia ranks higher than neighboring countries in the fight against corruption. However, we must take the Americans remarks about elite corruption into consideration.

The Americans note that corruption shifted from the population to the elite echelons. i.e. lower level of corruption has changed and moved to elite levels. The citizens do not take part in corruption deals any more, but in business and state upper echelons corruption deals take place.

This fact strengthens the idea of existing monopolies in the country and the state supports the monopolies. Hence, there is no doubt about the corruption in the country”, - said Ramaz Sakvarelidze.