Mikheil Saakashvili has reiterated that he did not plan to step down and would serve his second term in office in full till 2013.
“I will not be the president of this country after four years,” he said at a groundbreaking ceremony of construction of, as he put it, “the Europe’s best opera house” in the Black Sea town of Batumi late on May 11.
“Not only we will construct an opera house here, but we will also spare no effort against unemployment and against poverty here on Georgia’s Black sea coast – in Batumi, Poti, Kobuleti, in mountainous Adjara, in Guria and Samegrelo and of course on the next stage in Abkhazia too,” Saakashvili said.
He said that despite occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and despite of global economic crisis, Georgia was continuing “the process of construction.”
“I will bring this deed to the end together with you and as I have promised you we will turn Batumi the most bountiful city of the entire Black Sea coast,” Saakashvili said. “Many may say: ‘no time for opera houses and music halls when the enemy is standing on our soil and when we are hungry and without jobs’. But I want to tell you that this is additional source of employment, a source for attracting tourists. If today Adjara is hosting 200,000 tourists [annually], exactly in two years the figure will grow to 1.5 million and in five years – from 4 to 6 millions.”
“I guarantee this and you know that I have never lied to you,” he added.
He said that after four years when he is no longer a president, “we should bequeath all these to our future generations.” “When the future generation asks what we have bequeathed to them, they will say that we have built the best tourism center on the Black Sea coast, we have built the most beautiful opera house in Europe, we have built new Barcelona in Georgia and what is the most important the better life,” Saakashvili said.