Mikheil Saakashvili, the President of Georgia along with the ministers, summed up the works completed within the last year
During the government sitting, with the President present, the ministers and the governors discussed the prevention measures for the problems expected in Georgian economy due to the world financial crisis.
"We are talking about the world crisis, where salary debt of our neighboring countries has reached 15-30%."
A while ago, I met with the members of Parliament and told them that we should not undertake obligations that cannot be fulfilled.
We took on the responsibility for the teachers which we will fulfill, but we should understand that during the world crisis, taking on extra responsibilities is a luxury.
The ministries should limit the administrational spending; this is a very important process. It is also important to employ people.
As Mr. Gilauri said, some work places will be lost, and some we should create.
In city of Gori, water and sewerage problems exist. Therefore there is a government committee created to deal with these issues. I am putting the Premier Minister in charge of the planning of all the issues and strict control of them.
Davit Tkeshelashvili: "We are planning on spending 150 million Lari for the development of the city, out of which 60-70% will go towards water supply.
This is in response to your request, specifically employing people in the regions for this work."
Saakashvili: "I am satisfied with the fact that these changes within the government brought in new energy, and new ideas were brought in by new ministers. I know that you are working very hard.
Mr. Mgaloblishvili comes to work at 8 am. Until this I thought I had the longest work hours. I understand Gega and each one of us.
The work is ten times more than we are.
There is a real financial crisis in the world. Every single financial corporation and large banks are being affected by this.
For example, the "City Bank," in our neighboring state, has catastrophic crisis. In Georgia, we do not have a crisis yet.
In Russia, salary debts exceeded 10%. Unofficially, it is more than 20%, they are not able to fulfill social obligations, and in few of the neighboring countries, they are not giving out pensions.
In these countries, bank system collapsed. In such conditions, our economy has slowed down, but the world crisis has not come in to Georgia yet.
We should do everything to ensure that it does not come in with as large of a scale as in Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and other similar countries.
Our economy is experiencing recession; almost every large company is experiencing a crisis, since the world market prices got reduced. This of course is a problem.
The situation in Tkibuli is different. They are planning on increasing manufacturing, since the receiving of Caspian cement and other cement production factories was planned correctly.
The entire complex was created. The manes will start working again in Vale, train cars will be produced in Kutaisi, and 500 people will be employed. During this world crisis, there are plans to create more jobs.
This is yet an exception, as in reality there is a crisis in most of the enterprises. In this situation we need to concentrate on avoiding the worse.
The worsening of the world conjuncture does have some positive effects on us; fuel price decreased, which means that agricultural works are becoming cheaper.
We can double the production of agricultural products, hopefully we will have a free trade contract with the United States and we will for sure have this with the European Union.
We will be able to find a niche for our small market in the conditions of lower material prices. There are numerous reconstructing works taking place, four and a half billion dollars are coming in.
Construction materials are significantly cheaper, which means that we can build a lot more. If planned correctly, it will be easier for the smaller economy to endure the crisis.
Georgia has one of the uncorrupted economies in Europe. In Russia, 70% of people say that they pay unofficial taxes, in Georgia; only 3% can say the same.
We need to make sure that not even the 3% can say that.
Our additional resource is the uncorrupted economy, as well as the orderly and precise actions of our government.
During the crisis, the bank sector did not collapse, within last days and weeks there has been a cash in-flow in our bank sector from the countries that are experiencing bank crisis.
This is our advantage. I am sure that by this spring, the banks will have overcome the problems and will start giving out credits again.
Today we listened to the government report regarding the economy package which is putting more than 2 billion into Georgian economy. In our current economic condition, this is large scale assistance, which will help us avoid worse economic conditions and help recession turn into economic growth.
For as long as the world crisis continues, the concern of the Georgian government is to save and maintain economy.
This will be possible if the government maintains firm coordination and stable political conditions.
The President and the government are responsible for defending Georgia and our nation. We are responsible for being able to save and maintain our economy.
We will maintain social and bank systems. We will not allow the collapse of the budget; instead we will maintain and increase it.
Even if the taxes decrease, we should do what it takes in order to maintain budget income, as well as organized and timely distribution of salaries and pensions.
All this will be the bases for preserving the economy of Georgia.
I would like us to understand that aggression was implemented against us, and this aggressor now is under difficult conditions.
If we do all this, the losses we incurred will turn back.
Strengthening of our country depends on strengthening and maintaining our economy.
In the name of the entire government and myself, I would like to declare with complete responsibility that, despite the difficulties and complications, Georgia will overcome this hard time.
We will return to the previous index and levels of the economic growth. Large scale economic activity and quick steps towards the better future will be retuned to Georgia.
It is good that today inflation is 6%, we not only maintain salary distribution but we also increase it. We are working on increasing teachers' salaries and pensions.
No body could have imagined that we would have been able to almost completely re-settle the victims of the Russian aggression.
I would like to thank Ms. Tkeshelashvili.
Also, I would like to thank Mr. Merabishvili who participated in this work.
International concord is amazed at such quick and effective re-settlement.
According to one of the foreign newspapers no where in the world has the re-settlement of people been so fast. There is not much to be happy about though, since the pain of these people is our tragedy.
Against the wishes of our enemy, we built better houses and Gori will look better than it did before.
When we return back our cities and villages, we will re-build and develop them thousand times better than they were before.
Today, when there is so much danger around us, I am talking about the economic crisis, I would like to inform you that the economy commission of the government, whose members are Mr. Mgaloblishvili and Mr. Gurgenidze is assisting us.
The commission needs to consist of people who can give right advice.
I gladly welcome the fact that new ministers brought in interesting personnel.
We should involve society as much as we can in the process of governing the country. Therefore I would like to ask you to invite businessmen to this commission as they have many interesting ideas.
Let us also invite economic experts and professors of higher education. Let us collaborate with the commission created by Mr. Tortladze. Let us be patient towards criticism, and answer many questions.
We cannot afford not listening to advice or losing any intellectual resource.
By self-discipline, stability, patience and our intellect we should avoid the worse that could happen in economy. The situation will get more complicated, but we will not let it get out of control. During the second part of the year, the situation will start getting better.
If all goes as planned, by 2010 we will return to the previous economic growth index. Ahead of us we have 6 very difficult months.
In case of good working conditions there will be good perspectives. Complications do not mean that we should stop working. In this period, we should build more roads than ever before.
We should remodel more schools than ever before; give more health insurance and social protection to more people than before. We should develop more new ideas and projects than ever before. All these projects will be implemented if our strategy and plan of protection against the world crisis is carried out precisely.
I would like to ask all of you to be organized and work hard. I wish you all a happy new year "- stated President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.
of the President of Georgia