‘The hotel is built in avant-garde-minimalist style. It’s energy-efficient and has a minimal impact on the environment’, the city guide states of the Leo Grand, the hotel struck by a deadly fire on 24 November. Given that 12 people were killed and 21 injured in the fire, ‘minimalist designs’ could perhaps also refer to the minimally regulated building standards which are causing the shoddy development of our cities. [Read more…]
From 2007 to January 2017, 437 people died and 716 were injured at work in Georgia. A lack of safe workplaces is one of the greatest challenges facing workers in Georgia, and one the authorities are failing to rise to. [Read more…]
With Turkey’s slide into authoritarianism, ‘one nation, two states’ rings truer than ever of Azerbaijan and Turkey. But below the politics, Turkey has changed for many Azerbaijanis — from a beacon of hope and gateway to the West to a symbol of their disenchantment.
For the majority of Georgians, the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are only about Russia. The only way out of this stalemate is to start paying attention to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian experience.
Mining is one of the most important sectors of the Armenian economy; it has the largest share of exports constituting more than half the total value. On 9 March 2017, Armenia became a candidate country for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Candidacy means the country must undertake a series of reforms within a set timeframe to comply with standards of transparency and accountability.
On 28 November 2017, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in the hotly awaited case of the detention of Ivane Merabishvili, the former Georgian Prime Minister and Interior Minister. The judgment, the second on the case after the Georgian Government challenged the first, had been the subject of much interest in Georgia and abroad. This is hardly surprising not only given Merabishvili’s previous life in Georgian politics, but also the global phenomenon of politically-motivated proceedings.
On 15 November, the State Agency for Religious Issues announced an initiative to grant ‘Georgian tolerance’ the status of intangible cultural heritage. Historically, Georgia may have exhibited relatively high levels of tolerance, with many pointing to the reign of King David the Builder in the 12th century. David is celebrated for presiding over the start of the country’s golden age, and many point to his encouragement of other ethnicities settling in Georgia as a good example of Georgian tolerance. [Read more…]
Southern Georgia’s Armenians are not well integrated. That men spend nine months of the year in Russia is a problem — it separates them from the rest of their country. [Read more…]
Georgia’s parliament recently adopted a package of constitutional amendments. Among the many changes were those regulating the sale of agricultural land. According to the amendments, ‘agricultural land, as a resource of special importance, can only be owned by the state, a self-governing entity, a citizen of Georgia, or a union of Georgian citizens’. [Read more…]