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Key Economic Data
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 3,937 3,324 3,100 126
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 830 650 590 145
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 355- (25/07/10)

The aftermath of a disaster
It is two years since a disastrous war took place that would have finished a lesser politician. Somehow Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has survived it.

He had Georgia take on Russia. Naturally Georgia lost. South Ossetia is now irretrievably re-united to North Georgia in Russia. So what?

The war took place in August, 2008. The Russians won in five days flat. Saakashvili had the wild idea that the West would come to his rescue, as if they are not over-extended enough as it as it is in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Saakashvili is intensely pro-Western. So are most Georgians. They believe in liberalism and democracy.

Sticking to power
Yet, he has rejected the opposition's demand that a new parliament be elected to vote on a new constitution intended to give more powers to the parliament and prime minister. The draft constitution that would cut presidential powers is now being considered by a special state commission.

It might seem anomalous that Saakashvili would want to diminish the powers of the presidency, since he is the president. But he is thinking ahead. Parliamentary elections are to take place in Georgia in 2012, and presidential polls in 2013. His real power base is in parliament, dominated by his centre-right United National Movement.

Ten Georgian opposition parties have said that the current parliament must be replaced by a more "legitimate" one ahead of the crucial vote.

Saakashvili told reporters on July 19 the elections would take place on schedule despite any claims by the opposition. "You cannot demand new elections each time you lose [the previous polls]. It is like demanding the holding of a World Cup championship every three months only because Brazil failed to win the championship," Saakashvili said.

The United National Movement gained 60% of the vote in the local elections held in Georgia on May 30.

The Georgian president said the opposition "loves itself and seeks to occupy [government] positions, while the government loves the Georgian people and takes care of their future."
   

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