By Oliver Ressler (40 min.) 2013 Austria
Extreme levels of privatization can only be carried out under conditions where people are under severe pressure, as in the transformation of former Soviet republics towards independence and capitalism. Since the Rose Revolution in 2003, the former Soviet republic Georgia under went such a radical transformation. President Mikheil Saakashvili implemented one of the most extreme neoliberal projects in the world. Today, Georgia is 9th among 185 states on the World Bank list of “Ease of Doing Business” countries. This is creating an unstable situation in a radical, free-market economy with the liquidation of most social safety nets. Most Georgian residents are being driven into un-experienced levels of poverty.
The Plundering focuses on four cases of aggressive, state-property privatization policies in Tbilisi. Through interviews, it discusses the privatization of the water system in Tbilisi and of Tbilisi’s popular market, the Dezerter Bazaar. A newly emerging movement prevented the attempted sell-off of the National Scientific Library, and the destruction and conversion of the historical Gudiashvili Square in Tbilisi’s city center into a shopping mall.