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Mr Ivanishvili seems more preoccupied with attacking the outgoing president than with reviving Georgia’s stuttering economy: The Economist

Published: May 9, 2013 | 11:50 pm
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(CNA)-Seven months after the general election in Georgia, its protagonists are still campaigning against each other, The Economist reports.

President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose party lost the election to the Georgian Dream coalition led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, a business tycoon who is now prime minister, rallied his supporters in Tbilisi last month. Mr Ivanishvili seems more preoccupied with attacking the outgoing president than with reviving Georgia’s stuttering economy, reads the publication.

The economy is slowing: annual GDP growth, which averaged 6% over the past nine years, has fallen sharply and unemployment remains high. Mr Ivanishvili’s supporters say this is a legacy of political transition. Yet he has done little to soothe nerves among foreign investors, the main drivers of economic growth in Georgia. At the World Economic Forum in Davos in January he declared that Georgia’s high ranking in surveys for the ease of doing business was artificial. There are signs of a reversal of economic liberalisation and of the state crowding out the private sector. Mr Ivanishvili subsidises farmers out of his own fortune.

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