IRI : Large majority of Georgians regard unemployment as most important problems facing country

A new nationwide public opinion survey of Georgian citizens by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research shows that a large majority of Georgians regard unemployment and other economic issues as the most important problems facing the country.

As IRI says, this survey does not capture the aftermath of protests that began on June 20, but the survey does, however, demonstrate a significant level of disenchantment with government attitudes toward Russia and frustration at economic and political stagnation across a broad spectrum of the Georgian population.

“Georgians are worried about the economy, and many see their own economic situation deteriorating,” said IRI Regional Director for Eurasia Stephen Nix. “Left unaddressed, feelings of economic stagnation can lead to a very fragile political environment, especially when accounting for ongoing pressures coming from Moscow. It is of paramount importance that all parties come together to address these basic and long-standing voter concerns.”

According to the survey, 73 % of Georgians identified unemployment as one of the biggest problems facing the country, followed by the cost of living (34 percent) and poverty (28 percent). Consistent with last year’s findings, 40 percent of Georgians noted that their financial situation has remained unchanged over the last 12 months, and 49 percent of said that their financial situation has worsened over the same period.

Zurab Abashidze – We have not received information about possible suspension of trade relations with Russia from formal sources