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Saakashvili: 'We are on the Right Track'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Aug.'11 / 18:24

All the achievements made in recent years in Georgia should not be underestimated, but must be "highly appreciated," President Saakashvili said on August 1.

"I am traveling a lot in various countries... I am saying this because we've got very easily accustomed to the fact, that Georgia is organized and clean country with no corruption... and to the fact that here is very low crime [rate]. Life is simplified here for the citizens and we take it for granted, but there is nowhere else like this in the world," he said.

"Let me remind you that we have the simplest bureaucratic procedures in the world. It is just in our country where enterprises can be registered most easily in the world. Let me remind you that our country is safest in Europe that means that it is one of the safest country in the world. I also want to remind you that the relationship between the government and the people is one of the simplest here than elsewhere in the world."

"And it has been done by the present generation of Georgia – it was only us and nobody else in the world, who managed to do it," he said.

"More I travel, more I see and more I observer, more I realize that we are on the right track and we have outstripped many others around us," Saakashvili added.

He made the remarks at a ceremony in Batumi marking launch of electronic ID cards in Georgia, which will gradually replace old personal identity document over next several years.

Issuing electronic cards, which enables online and offline identification, also allowing its holder, among other things, to sign electronic documents with a digital signature, started on August 1 in Tbilisi, Batumi and Rustavi. The new electronic cards will be available in other parts of the country starting from September.

Price of electronic ID varies from GEL 30 to GEL 65, depending on timeframe in which a citizen wants to obtain it - minimum price is for getting the card in ten days after applying for it and the maximum price is for getting the card on the same day of applying for it.

Obtaining electronic ID is not immediately compulsory; a holder of an old ID card can replace it with electronic one after the old card's ten-year validity term expires.  

During a ceremony outside the Justice House, a one-stop center for services provided by the Justice Ministry, Saakashvili handed over new electronic ID cards to several citizens who were the first to apply for it. Saakashvili said that it was symbolic that ordinary citizens not the President or any other senior official were holders of the new cards, because it showed that the Georgian government is for the people" not vice versa. He called this hand over of the electronic cards as "yet another act of direct people's democracy."
 
"These skyscrapers, which we see around [in Batumi], are being built not because we have oil – we do not have oil; not because we have much gas – we do not have much gas; not because we have inherited some fortune from a grandmother - my grandmother was very rich, but we have not inherited anything, because the Communists seized everything from her - but it is being built because we have created non-corrupted, transparent, effective state machinery and we have established such democracy, which serves people instead of officials," Saakashvili said.

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