Georgia prefers economy to politics

Georgia prefers economy to politics

According to residents of Georgia, the main problems in the country are unemployment (47%) and the economic crisis (24%), and the least - health care and drug prices (0.5%), the sociological survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI) says. The healthcare reform was named the most successful of those conducted by the government.

The poll also showed that residents of Georgia are negative about the course of the country's development. 65% believe that the country is developing incorrectly, 29% of respondents are of the opposite opinion. The main complaints of the survey participants to the government are non-fulfilment of pledges, the economic crisis and inflation, Sputnik-Georgia reported.

In addition, an IRI study shows that for Georgians, prosperity is more important than democracy. Prosperous economy is the most important thing for 34% and a democratic system - for 23%. 22% of respondents named prosperous economy as important, and democratic system was named by 12%.

Among institutions, Georgian church is leading with its activities, followed by the arm, media, police, the Presidential Administration and the Ministry of Education.

Moreover, 26% of respondents said they would vote for the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) if local elections were held next Sunday. 12% of those interviewed said they would vote for the opposition United National Movement (UNM) followed by the Movement for Liberty - European Georgia - with 7%. 

A combined 90% of Georgians 'fully support' (64%) or 'somewhat support' (26%) joining the EU. Similarly, a majority of Georgians 'fully support' (56%) or 'somewhat support' (26%) joining NATO.

 A vast majority (76%) view the current state of Georgia’s relationship with Russia as 'bad', yet a combined 82% 'fully support' (53%) or 'somewhat support' (29%) continued dialogue.

Data was collected throughout Georgia between February 22 and March 8, 2017, through face-to-face interviews at respondents’ homes. The sample consisted of 1,501 permanent residents of Georgia, 18 years and older and eligible to vote, and is nationally-representative. The margin of error does not exceed plus or minus 2.5 percent.

A member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ Vakhtang Maisaya, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that there is nothing surprising in the results of the poll. "Georgia is going through a bad time. The people have moved to the level of maintaining basic living conditions, in fact, the minimum income does not exceed 121 lari (about $60) per month," he explained.

"There has been a decline in direct foreign investment, there was no tourist boom. Liberalization of the visa regime has become a threat," Vahtang Maisaya stressed.

Speaking about the record low support of the parliament and the government, the political scientist drew attention to the fact that the internal political situation in Georgia began to develop according to the Latin American model. "Members of parliament, the highest ranks of political institutions have a great time. While the Georgian population is disgusted with parliamentarians and members of the government because of the policy pursued by the current government and which is an echo of the authoritarian regime of Saakashvili," the member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ said.

According to him, after the events in Batumi people ceased to feel protected. "This is the undermining of the state bases of Georgia. The constitution is dead. The flywheel of complete outrage has been launched, the level of criminality has grown. As a result, Georgia has developed an atmosphere of danger in which citizens have to live," Vakhtang Maisaya concluded.