Issue of regionalism in Georgia was to be debated at the special session last week but the debates were delayed.
Aleksandre Shalamberidze, member of the fraction “Traditionalists” gave interview to “the Akhali Taoba” (the fraction was the initiator of arranging Georgia according to regional principles): “events taken place in Kakheti (the Pankisi Valley) once again assured me that regionalism is essential in Georgia”, Shalamberidze announced. He thinks that regions will manage to govern themselves better than the center. “In case we do not have strong regions there will not be a strong center in the county actually”, Shalamberidze presumes.
“The Dilis Gazeti”, on the other hand, objects the initiative of regionalism. It regards that the idea does not have many supporters among the society either. Regionalism suggested by “the Traditionalists”, which is considered as the most acceptable version, foresees establishing administrational units by uniting regions and creating several regions in some parts of the country, which will cause serious problems. “In Kakheti, for example, the attempt of regionalism will cause mental problems and resistance and will be regarded as “division of Kakheti into parts”.
According to the newspaper, in case the present day parts will become regions the problem will be much worse. “By transforming historical parts of the country into regions and establishing corresponding structures, process of regional ethno identification will be initiated. The case will make a whole state and national identification fall into decay”, “the Dilis Gazeti” states.
The newspaper considers that in this particular case it would be better if the government let everything stay the way it is presently and historical parts of Gerogia (like Kakheti, Samegrelo, Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti) be regarded as cultural notion only.
“The Akhali Taoba”, “The Dilis Gazeti”