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Abashidze's gone, but has Ajaria changed?

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STORY
When the Rose Revolution finally came to Ajaria, it began with a boom.Ajarians received instant gratification for their role in overthrowing strongman Aslan Abashidze in May 2004: new buses, new elections, a new bridge and the promise of investment and jobs. But a year later, Ajarians say a growing gap exists between what the central government promised then and what they have today.

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AT A GLANCE
Population: 396,400
Size: 2,880 sq. km
Main Town: Batumi (pop: 140,000)
Average salary: 130 GEL ($65) per month


Part of the Ottoman Empire for 300 years, Ajaria has always been a region apart.

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GEORGIAN VOICES
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"Ajaria is like a forgotten corner of Guria."

Aslan Migrelidze,
Hunter, Kobuleti

"The government promised us a good life will come, but there is nothing. They fooled us."

Tina Jikhadze, Market
Trader, Batumi

"With electricity, life wouldn't be boring. We could watch television or do something."

Medico Gorgadze,
Farmer, Sakhalavashol