A number of leaders in the ruling Georgian Dream Party have lashed out at the country’s non-governmental sector over their criticism of the government’s handling of the Omega tapes scandal. Fifteen prominent NGOs have joined together to demand action over the secret recordings, labelling them a ‘clear sign of grand corruption and informal clan rule in Georgia’.
Since the 1990s, thousands of Georgians have left home in search of opportunities abroad, pushed out by food poverty, debts, unemployment, or to escape violence in the family. Below are stories from three women who braved landmines, hidden containers, and frozen seas in search for a better future in Greece. [Read more…]
On 7 October, the Georgian TV channel Imedi didn’t air its regular Sunday night political satire show Vasmedia, citing an open-dated ‘change of format’ as the reason. The decision followed the latest episode of the show, where the anchor and comedian Vasiko Odishvili mocked Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze. [Read more…]
The chairman of the Russian Duma’s Defence Committee has warned that Russia will take ‘diplomatic and military measures’ over a US-funded lab in Georgia. He said the Lugar Centre in Tbilisi was ‘designing bio-weapons and viruses’, while Georgia called the accusation ‘absurd propaganda’. [Read more…]
In August, Abkhazia marked ten years since Russian recognition. Despite only four other states having followed suit, Abkhazians remain optimistic and blame Georgia for impeding their aspirations.
A former Georgian minister caught on tape allegedly extorting money and cars from a businessman on behalf of former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has claimed the recordings were staged for the benefit of foreign investors. [Read more…]
Georgia’s former Sports Minister Levan Kipiani was kidnapped, beaten, and threatened to have his ‘honour violated’, over pressure being applied to Omega Group in 2016, the company’s owner and founder Zaza Okuashvili has alleged in an interview with Rustavi 2. Omega Group owns popular TV station Iberia TV.
Georgia’s National Communications Commission (GNCC) has ordered broadcasters to stop airing three attack ads aimed at presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili. The commission told broadcasters the adds, one of which calls Zurabishvili a traitor, violate Georgian legislation. [Read more…]
Struggling to make ends meet, many Georgian pensioners end up relying on donations from charities or support from relatives or kind neighbours. Places in care homes are few and far between and even the state-run Soviet-era institutions are no longer taking in residents. The government is set to introduce a new pension contribution scheme but critics argue it doesn’t go far enough. [Read more…]