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Saakashvili Slams Opponents

President Saakashvili went on the offensive on November 17 in public speeches made in the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti. His targets were business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili and Levan Gachechiladze,  the opposition presidential contender and a wine company owner.

?There is an evil, which has a name, and I want to tell you about this evil: if you spend a billion dollars, you will fail. If you try to buy the Georgian people, you will fail. If you try to fool the Georgian people with your machine of lies, you will fail. If you try to serve Georgia on a plate to the country [referring to Russia] which wants to enslave Georgia, you will fail. Because you do not understand one thing: this is the Georgian people,? Saakashvili said in a colourful speech.

He was speaking to a crowd gathered in the town of Kvareli at a concert marking the opening of the renovated Ilia Chavchavadze museum.

Earlier on Saturday, Saakashvili, accompanied by Lado Gurgenidze, recently nominated to be Prime Minister, was in Sagarejo, another town in Kakheti, to meet with a group of winegrowers and winemakers.

There he spoke of Georgia?s ability to overcome difficulties despite the Russian embargo and attempts by ?traitors? within the country ?to destroy Georgia? and to destabilize the country. He recalled, what he called, ?a faked and staged scene? wherein a winegrower, apparently angry at not being able to sell his harvest, was shown cutting down his vines in Kakheti. The scene was extensively covered by Imedi TV, co-owned by Patarkatsishvili. The authorities said at the time that the ?staged show? was part of Patarkatsishvili?s ?propaganda? to plant hopelessness among the people.

?This year an entire propaganda campaign has been staged, claiming that vineyards were being cut in Kakheti,? Saakashvili said. ?All those TV scenes were faked? It was staged to make the moustached patron happy,? he added – a clear reference to Patarkatsishvili, who has a bushy gray moustache.

At the meeting with wine producers and winegrowers, Saakashvili also spoke of the need to further diversify export markets for Georgian wine.

While lauding one Georgian wine companies ? Teliani Valley ? for its efforts in diversifying export markets and increasing sales even after the Russian embargo was imposed, Saakashvili slammed Georgian Wines and Spirits company, owned by MP Levan Gachechiladze, the opposition bloc presidential contender. Teliani Valley is part owned by Galt & Taggart Capital, the merchant banking arm of the Bank of Georgia (BOG), which is chaired by Lado Gurgenidze.

?There is one company, which is now bankrupt so I will not mention its name, and the company?s boss is now in politics,? Saakashvili said. ?Recently I was in Japan where the governor of Kyoto told us that he had bought a Georgian wine in Kyoto. I have seen white wine produced by that company and so I was scared, because I had tasted that very wine two years earlier in Moscow and it was terrible. None of you would drink a wine of that kind, not only you but even those who do not understand anything about wine would not drink it either? So we then tasted that wine and surprisingly it turned out to be really good. So it means that that company exported to Japan [unlike Russia] really good wine? That is a problem when one sends one type of wine to one market and a wine of a different quality to another market. We should maintain high standards for every market.?

At the meeting Saakashvili once again raised recent developments in the country and reiterated that the government?s response to the November 7 unrest in Tbilisi had prevented the country from sliding into chaos.

?Georgia was facing a choice: either to continue moving towards the future, or go back to the early 90s, back to disaster,? Saakashvili said. ?We have no way back. For this reason the government has undertaken all the necessary measures, which would have been undertaken by any government in any other country in order to restore order.?

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian)


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