Rose Revolution shows the results of freeing markets


Georgia’s president-elect Georgy Margvelashvili (R) and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili (C) — Image by © Ding Yuan/Xinhua Press/Corbis

by Neil Emerick and Gia Janderi

FREE-market supporters are often asked to show concrete examples of countries where the policies they advocate have been successfully tried. Georgia, formerly part of the Soviet Union, offers a little-known economic success story.

Recently, after peaceful elections, President Mikheil Saakashvili handed power to Giorgi Margvelashvili, a candidate from the party elected by a majority in last year’s parliamentary elections. While controversy exists over Saakashvili’s 10-year term in office, the economic effects of his “Rose Revolution” have been widely praised. Inheriting a moribund economy corrupted by post-Soviet cronyism, his party of young, market-friendly politicians set about reversing the decline with reforms remarkable not only for boldness but their speed of implementation.

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