The shortest rail connection between Europe and Asia has now began operating. But questions remain over whether the project will bring together East and West, be competitive, and bring economic success?
Since its announcement by billionaire then–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Georgian Co-Investment Fund has began to reshape Georgia’s capital. OC Media set out to unmask the backers of the project, but with the money channelled via murky offshores, this proved to be somewhat impossible.
A new EU–Armenia agreement has every chance of soon being signed. The controversy in Armenia surrounding the document boils down to whether it will be signed on 24 November at the Brussels summit of the Eastern Partnership, or if it will be postponed again — and for what reasons. [Read more…]
As much as 81% of the population of Georgia doesn’t know what the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) does, according to the 2017 Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia survey funded by the Europe Foundation and implemented by CRRC-Georgia. This lack of knowledge has increased over time, as has the prevalence of incorrect information about the EUMM’s mission. This represents a missed opportunity for the EU’s communications in Georgia.
Tbilisi and its inhabitants are accustomed to major renovations at election times — a ‘tradition’ for politicians and city administrations. Such timely expressions of care for the city started under the United National Movement and have continued with Georgian Dream. [Read more…]
Georgians will head to polls on Saturday to elect 59 municipal and district heads (gamgebeli) and five mayors — in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Poti, and Rustavi. Voters will also elect 2,058 members of 64 local councils (sakrebulos). Those elected will serve four years in office. [Read more…]
Twenty-seven Europeans were executed en masse in a single night earlier this year. The lack of international reaction to this reveals not only what’s wrong with humanity, but even more acutely — the media.
Over 1,000 workers were killed or injured in occupational accidents in Georgia from 2011–2016, according to data compiled by the Applied Research Company, a consultancy. Almost every month, yet another worker plunges to his death from Tbilisi’s shockingly unprotected highrise construction sites or a story of worker humiliation or exploitation hits the news. Labour issues have returned as fertile ground for Georgian activism.
Hundreds took to the streets in Tbilisi on 14 July, in a xenophobic, ethno-nationalist rally. The ‘March of Georgians’ railed against ‘illegal immigrants’, meaning anyone not Christian and white. But some on the far-right dissented against pro-Russian sentiments within the movement.
In May 2016, Tbilisi’s Kiwi Café — a vegan hangout for city hipsters — was hit by nationalist youths armed with meat sausages. The grotesque spectacle was obvious click-bait in today’s attention seeking social media, but it did highlight a new trend: social and lifestyle issues increasingly trump Georgia’s latent political rifts, and young people are at the forefront of this evolution.