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14 Aug, 2008 14:24

Saakashvili forgets about his people in media fever

Over the last few days Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili has thrown much of his effort into convincing the wider world that Georgia was the victim, not the instigator, of the military conflict in South Ossetia. But

On the international stage, Mikhail Saakashvili is still showing his face – flanked by Eastern European leaders, it's all image and bravado. The Georgian president says Russia is still the Soviet Union and he is its unwilling victim.

He's brought in a Belgium public relations firm to help build his image and keep foreign correspondents updated with e-mail alerts detailing the latest alleged Russian aggressions.

Refugee camps are the post war reality of Saakashvili policy. New refugees are bussed in by the hour.

Most people blame Saakashvili for starting the war but now when it's over he's nowhere around to help them rebuild their lives.
“Saakashvili is responsible. Who are we? Are we animals or people? I have no house because of him. My daughter's pregnant and I don't know where she is. I have nothing. Saakashvili is responsible for this. We're here because of him. And where are the georgian journalists to tell about this?” refugee Victoria Ivanadze said.

Both rich and poor have suffered from the outbreak of conflict in South Ossetia.

“Foreign investment has completely stopped. They say they'll come back, but it will be slow. It will take at least one year for us to build up to the level we were before the fighting. Our biggest problem is to bring back the trust of western partners – to convince them to trust the Georgian economy. I have nineteen factories and most of them are closed. I've lost millions of dollars,” businessman Merab Kupunia said.
Meanwhile, all taxi drivers in Tbilisi says the same thing: “Saakashvili thinks too much about himself and not enough about his people”.