Rescatar a Georgia

Este año Georgia recibirá tarde su regalo de Navidad y Año Nuevo, pero la espera valdrá la pena, pues la elección presidencial para elegir a un sucesor del Presidente Eduard Shevardnadze, prevista para el 4 de enero de 2004, ofrece al país su primera esperanza real desde la independencia en 1991. Una pacífica "revolución rosa" lo ha propiciado, pero la economía, no la política, será la que determine si Georgia prospera o soporta otro decenio perdido.

El tiempo de Eduard Shevardnadze había pasado hacía mucho. A principios del decenio de 1990, sacó a Georgia de la guerra civil pero después la mantuvo unida enfrentando a un clan poderoso contra otro. Durante los diez años en que ha ocupado el poder, la economía se ha hundido y centenares de miles de sus compatriotas más capaces han emigrado.

El primer mandato de Shevardnadze aportó, en efecto, un código liberal para las inversiones extranjeras y la fundación de un Estado basado en el imperio de la ley. Entraron inversiones -en particular, en el sector energético- a raudales, pues las empresas occidentales esperaban que, en vista de los depósitos de petróleo y gas en su vecino Azerbaiyán, los hubiera también en Georgia.

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