A pitched battle between protesters and riot police in Georgia’s Pankisi Valley has undone years of work to build trust with a community that has been historically marginalised. The government needs to prioritise a more participatory approach to regional development over business interests.
Riot police have deployed rubber bullets and tear gas against protesters in northeast Georgia’s Pankisi Valley after local residents tried to prevent the resumption of work on a hydropower plant in the valley.
Georgia’s capitalist transformation has created a new social and political order imbued with the spirit of social Darwinism, and Tbilisi is a city emblematic of this post-communist order. The social injustice and poverty generated by this order, however, is disguised in Georgia’s capital by a façade of development. [Read more…]
The lack of job opportunities and development prospects in the rural regions of Azerbaijan has provoked a population influx to the capital, and the rapid growth of Baku’s population has increased the load on the city’s infrastructure. Problems faced by the metropolis and its inhabitants include gas cutoffs, waste management issues, water shortages, and traffic jams. [Read more…]
Just two months after announcing sweeping reforms of Georgia’s banks, 36-year-old Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze looks set to become the new Prime Minister. While the country’s banks have become among the most profitable in the world, they have done so at the expense of ordinary Georgians. If Bakhtadze and his replacement at the finance ministry follow through on these reforms, they could be the first step in addressing some of Georgia’s most pressing economic woes.
The Georgian government has an ambitious plan to construct a road connecting the mountainous regions of northeast Georgia, from Khevsureti to Tusheti. It’s stated goal — to develop tourism and help locals travel between difficult-to-reach areas. But many, both locals and others, are against the project. They say it will wreck the environment, damaging the region’s unique natural appeal, and taking with it their hopes of developing ecotourism.
Protests in Tbilisi’s old neighbourhood against constructions above the city’s historic sulphur baths are set to resume, as urban policy activists vow to fight plans to construct two large multifunctional complexes. [Read more…]
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…]
Families and businesses are facing imminent eviction to make way for renovations. Despite plans to begin the work in March, residents and business owners are yet to receive details from the city, throwing their futures into uncertainty and chaos.