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Poll Shows Georgians Increasingly Concerned over Economy
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 Apr.'11 / 16:26

There has been a significant drop over past eight months among people who think that Georgia is going in right direction, according to the recent public opinion survey released on April 6.

35% of respondents either said Georgia is “definitely going in the right direction” or “is going mainly in the right direction”, according to the poll carried out by Caucasus Resource Research Centers (CRRC) for U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) in March.

The figure stood at 51% in a similar previous poll carried out in July 2010 – almost without a change since December, 2009.

There was, however, a marked increase among those who think that Georgia “is not changing at all” with the figure going up from 15% in July, 2010 to 37% in March, 2011.

The recent poll shows that economic and social problems are still major source of concern for most of the respondents.

Unemployment still tops list of concerns, followed by rising prices, which is a marked change from NDI’s previous poll eight months ago, when inflation was on sixth position.

In another important trend, number of respondents identifying territorial integrity as the top issue continued to decline from 49% in December 2009 to 45% in July 2010 and to 38% in March 2011.

According to the recent poll 46% of respondents said that situation has worsened in respect of jobs since January 2008 (37% said it was the same) and 55% said situation worsened in respect of territorial integrity.

The majority of respondents think that politicians do not speak enough on the issues, which represent major problems – jobs, rising prices. Although most of the respondents said there was right amount of discussions of the territorial integrity problem by politicians.

Majority of respondents say Georgia is not a democracy, but the gap between those who did not and those who did see Georgia as democracy narrowed from 13% in July, 2010 to 5% in March.

Most of the respondents identified education reform as the most important for Georgia, followed by tax reform, electoral reform, judicial, business environment, property rights and media reform.

Foreign Policy

In a marked change over the previous poll in July, when support to Georgia’s NATO membership was relatively declined, now 56% of respondents “fully support” and 15% “somewhat support” Georgia to join the Alliance.

Although majority of respondents (49%) are still critical about Georgia’s current policy towards Russia, the figure has declined from 59% over past eight months.

74% of respondents approve Tbilisi’s calls for dialogue with Russia and 71% think that Russia’s policy poses threat to Georgia’s sovereignty.

The survey, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 3% and in which 2,893 respondents were interviewed, was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

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