Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Marshrutka Diaries: "Georgian tradition demands that guests be treated as 'gifts from God,' and today the government is making sure President George Bush will feel his divine status. He certainly ranks among the elite of Georgia's visitors, not only is the man doing wonders for Georgia's image, even before arriving he has lit a fire under the bureaucratic posteriors in Tbilisi and set off an unprecedented rebuilding campaign. Unfortunately in the history of Georgia, not all guests have been such talismans."

"AES: You don't really feel welcomed when your chief financial officer is murdered and other executives are arrested. It has doesn't help that you run Tbilisi's electric system, Telasi, and customers prefer not to pay for electricity. From the time the company arrived in Georgia in 1999 to the point it sold its stake to Russia's RAO UES in 2003, the trouble never stopped. The company's trials and tribulations in Georgia have now been immortalized in the excellent documentary by Paul Devlin, Power Trip."

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