19 août 2010
Seven years after the Rose revolution, Georgia has come a long way
FOUNTAINS dance, children play and families stroll along Batumi’s five-mile seafront boulevard, lined with palm trees, hammocks and playgrounds. Less than a decade ago, Ajaria, a verdant south-western corner of Georgia of which Batumi is the regional capital, was the personal fief of Aslan Abashidze, a strongman who seemed to own the place more than run it. He never appeared without an army of goons, and closed the streets when his son felt like racing his Lamborghini. Cut off from the rest of Georgia by checkpoints, the economy was stagnant.
Today this gently beguiling holiday resort is an exhibition of Georgia’s capitalist achievements, a showcase of its transition and an advertisement for what Abkhazia, a separatist region to the north, could have become had it not been, in effect, annexed by Russia following the short Russia-Georgia war two years ago.
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Le lien : http://www.economist.com/node/16847798?story_id=16847798