The Underground Economy
Economic statistics for Georgia are difficult to evaluate for both the Soviet era and the post-Soviet period, primarily because of the country's large underground economy. Traditional Georgian familial and clan relations have intensified the economic corruption that infused the entire communist system. Local elites in the communist party joined with underground speculators and entrepreneurs to form an economic mafia. Repeated efforts to eradicate this phenomenon, including an aggressive effort by Shevardnadze in the early 1970s, apparently had little impact. In the postcommunist period, struggles for economic control among competing mafias have been an important part of the political conflict plaguing Georgia.
|Country Studies main page | Georgia Country Studies main page|