Georgia trapped in economic maelstrom

Georgia trapped in economic maelstrom
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Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom.

The national currency, the lari, has lost twenty percent of its value since November last year.

The wretched state of the Russian rouble has undermined the former Soviet republic and the situation in Ukraine is adding to the chaos.

The former head of the country’s central bank Roman Gotsiridze says current government policy is not helping: “The main problem is a change of economic policy from a liberal and deregulated stance to a regulated one. The strengthening of the state’s role in it has led to economic difficulties.”

On the streets the small traders are feeling the squeeze and many fear for the future: “Many small enterprises will close. I think small business will die in Georgia. If this situation continues for maybe six months, small business in Georgia will not survive,” said market trader Alexander.

As the economic stagnation taints every aspect of Georgian life the role of the government, led by Irakli Garibashvili,.is becoming the focus of protest.

Last month tens of thousands took to the streets of Tbilisi to call for the administration to stand down.

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