Nine days ago in Georgia’s Black Sea region of Achara, President Mikheil Saakashvili unveiled the glitzy, “seven-star” seaside resort of Anaklia -- a complex intended as a response to Russia’s military presence in breakaway Abkhazia.
At an August 22 opening ceremony, the president declared that Anaklia, just several kilometers from Abkhazia, would prove a rival to “Saint-Tropez or Nice,” and show that Georgia’s “main goal is peace.”
But the project, commissioned by the government at a reported cost of 16.5 million euros (about $23.8 million), stands in stark contrast to the living conditions faced by tens of thousands of ethnic Georgians displaced by war from Abkhazia itself; individuals whose homeless state Saakashvili has said makes himself “feel . . .displaced.”
Anaklia’s estimated price tag (an official figure was not available) is approximately six times larger than the 2011 budget for the Ministry for Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodations and Refugees (MRA), which organizes housing for Georgia’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
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