Opinion

The FINANCIAL -- In June of 2015, the average cost of cooking one standard Imeretian Khachapuri fell to 2.85GEL, which is 1% lower month-on-month (compared to May 2015), and 0.8% higher year-on-year (compared to June 2014).

The FINANCIAL -- An average Georgian household spends more than 40% of its budget on food. It therefore stands to reason that Georgian consumers are quite sensitive to food prices, which may be very good news considering recent developments in global commodity markets. According to the latest World Bank’s Food Price Watch, “international food prices declined by 14% between August 2014 and May 2015, sliding into a five-year low.” For lower-middle income households this could result in a 6% increase in disposable income, allowing households to spend more on other consumption items and invest e.g. in the education of their children.

The FINANCIAL -- Since the Rose Revolution, pro-Western Georgian politicians are dreaming to lead their country into the apparently safe haven of NATO. So far with little success, causing disappointment among many Georgians and affirming those who preferred less integration in the Western geopolitical bloc and more alignment with Russia. In this debate, however, some aspects are largely overlooked, which let Georgia’s NATO aspirations appear in a more favorable light.

The FINANCIAL -- When Georgia ran into a conflict with its northern neighbor in 2008, it experienced considerable solidarity on part of its main Western ally. The United States supplied military transporters to fly back Georgian troops from Afghanistan, which was correctly understood by the Russians as a warning that the US would not allow Georgia to fall.

The FINANCIAL -- Education is one of the surest means we have to end extreme poverty in our time. At the turn of the millennium, the obvious first goal to set was to get all children into school. Developing countries have made a heroic effort in this direction.

The second of May, 2015, may well go unnoticed by historians of the future; but I am convinced that it marks a watershed not only in Georgia’s recent evolution – but also, maybe, in the history of our times...

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