Economy

New Georgian plant may produce parts for Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier

by | March 31, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--An Israeli company plans to build a new factory in Georgia with the goal of producing parts for Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier passenger planes. The construction of the 'high tech and modern' aviation plant will begin in three months, Economy

News

Georgian government absent as president delivers annual speech

by | March 31, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--When the Georgian president held his state of the nation speech in parliament on Tuesday, the government and the prime minister were absent - again. This is the second time the government has snubbed President Giorgi Margvelashvili. The same

News

Georgian president swears in one more ‘rebel judge’

by | March 31, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president on Monday marked the appointment of one more 'rebel judge' to a top level position the country's court system. Merab Turava was sworn in as a new member of the Constitutional Court at a ceremony in Batumi attended

News

High winds tore off roofs in northwestern Georgia

by | March 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--High winds damaged several villages in the northwestern part of Georgia on Monday. A reporter for Interpressnews said there are houses without roof in six villages Kveda Chkhorotsku, Lesichine, Akhuti, Nakiani, Kirtskhi and Zumi; totalling

In brief

Fake priests detained in Georgia

by | March 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained four fake priests who apparently falsified documents in order to get visa for the Schengen area. The young men are accused of forging documents that make them out to be clerics in the influential Georgian Church.

News

Georgian president rejects Putin’s invitation to May 9 celebration

by | March 30, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president has declined an invitation to participate in the traditional May 9 celebration in Moscow of the 70th anniversary of victory in World War 2. The reason is that Russia signed ‘integration agreements’ with South Ossetia

News

Family of Turtle Lake murder victim claims UNM member did it

by | March 29, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A businessman who accused the National Movement government of seizing his property at Turtle Lake was shot to death Saturday morning. Besik Khardziani was hit by several gunshots, also to his head, near his house in Tbilisi. He was taken to hospital

News

Givi Targamadze questioned about police leaks

by | March 28, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--MP Givi Targamadze was Saturday questioned for nine hours in a case related to the leaking of information from the Interior Ministry. More than a week ago, a Georgian Interior Ministry employee was fired for allegedly handing over secret information

News

NATO holds democracy conference in Tbilisi

by | March 28, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO organized a two-day international conference in Tbilisi on Thursday and Friday, hosting Georgian, Armenian and Turkish politicians, and U.S. political and economic analysts. The local US embassy and Open Society also helped organize the conference,

News

Women in Georgia do thirteen times more housework than men

by | March 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--According to global data from the UN, women spend at least twice as much time as men doing unpaid domestic work. All across the world, women on average work more, but earn less than men, as their domestic chores are not paid for. In 2008, Eka

Minorities

Batumi synagogue back to Jewish community after 86 years

by | March 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s State Agency on Religious Issues on Thursday decided to transfer ownership of the Batumi synagogue to the Jewish community. The Jewish community has been requesting ownership and usage rights to the oldest synagogue in the city,

Economy

Wizz Air ending flights between Georgia and Ukraine

by | March 27, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Wizz Air is ending flights between Georgia and Ukraine from April 20 because the company Wizz Air Ukraine is being dissolved. “This decision was made, with regret, due to the ongoing instability in Eastern Ukraine, the devaluation and volatility

News

Dismissed defense minister ‘told not to sign air defense agreement’

by | March 26, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and his successor Mindia Janelidze on Wednesday accused each other of lying about a treaty Alasania signed in France in 2014 shortly before his dismissal. The treaty

Media

Two TV hosts in Georgia accuse govt coalition of pressure

by | March 26, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two hosts on the TV channel Imedi accuse the government of trying to put pressure on them, while the company’s management distances themselves from the statements made by their own journalists.

News

Deputy defense minister questioned in the ‘cables case’

by | March 26, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor General’s Office on Wednesday questioned former Deputy Defense Minister Zaza Broladze for nine hours in connection with the 'cables case', for which the Defense Minister Irakli Alasania was sacked last year. As he left the building after

News

Relatives of woman who died in childbirth rally outside clinic

by | March 25, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Relatives of a pregnant woman died in childbirth rallied outside the hospital in Batumi on Wednesday. Another pregnant woman died at the same hospital about a month ago. Relatives of Maia Verdzadze (29) blame the doctor for her death.

Minorities

Preventing child brides in Kvemo Kartli

by | March 25, 2015

Marneuli, DFWatch--“The man thinks that she is still a child, she doesn’t know anything, and that is a good thing for her,” says Samira Bayramova, a women's rights activist in Marneuli working to prevent young girls from becoming child brides. “Mothers-in-law

News

Georgia begins treatment of 5,000 hepatitis C patients

by | March 25, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--One month from now, Georgia begins an ambitious government program to treat 5,000 hepatitis C patients. The program starts on April 21, and is focused on those patients who need treatment the most. Health Minister Davit Sergeenko said

Minorities

Adjara government finds solution to overcrowded mosque

by | March 25, 2015

BATUMI, DFWatch--The local government in Batumi, Georgia, is buying two buildings for local Muslims, to try to solve the decades-long problem with an overcrowded mosque. There is only one mosque in Batumi, and it is unable to accommodate all the

News

Dangerous parasite found in meat at Tbilisi kindergarten

by | March 24, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A dangerous parasite of the type sarcoysistis has been found in meat at a kindergarten in Tbilisi. The parasite was found by the National Food Agency, which is doing checks following the recent discovery of dangerous semi-prepared food. Sarcocystis -

News

Georgian PM’s visit to Ukraine delayed without explanation

by | March 24, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian PM's visit to Ukraine is being delayed for unknown reasons. Early this year, government members indicated that such a visit would take place soon. Officials only say that they are preparing for the visit, but offer no information

News

Home-made drug use reduced by 90% in Georgia

by | March 23, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The use of home-made drugs and import of new psychotropic substances has decreased by over 90 percent since 2013, according to the latest annual report by the US State Department. The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 2015

Economy

Georgia wants to be a springboard for Chinese trade with Europe

by | March 23, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia wants to use its free trade access to the EU to become a springboard for Chinese trade with Europe. Last year, Georgia signed an association agreement with the EU. Included was what’s called a deep and comprehensive free

News

Ivanishvili: Georgians don’t forget as easily as UNM thinks

by | March 23, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgians don’t want Saakashvili's party back, former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili predicted Sunday. He appeared as one of the guests in the talk show ‘2030’ on his son’s TV channel GDS. Saturday, the National Movement

News

Activists ‘disinfect’ square after Saakashvili party’s rally

by | March 22, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Activists Sunday ‘disinfected’ a square in Tbilisi where the National Movement had rallied the day before. “We think they left behind bits of their unhealthy ideological views. Therefore  we decided to conduct a disinfection," Irakli Kipiani told

In brief

Traffic restrictions eased in Georgia

by | March 22, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--After a few days of restrictions, Gudauri-Kobi road in northern Georgia is now open for traffic. But all kinds of vehicles must use snow chains on the Gudauri-Kobi road due to snow and ice, according to the Roads Department. Vehicles

News

Saakashvili supporters rally in Tbilisi against the government

by | March 21, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tbilisi on Saturday, demanding the government’s resignation. People came to Tbilisi from faraway Samegrelo, Adjara and other regions. Many arrived by bus. Organizers also

News

Saakashvili’s party preparing anti-government rally today

by | March 21, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement, Georgia’s former ruling party, is preparing an anti-government rally in Tbilisi today. The party, which was voted out of power in 2012, is demonstrating against the government’s economic policy, and calling on the government to step down.

News

Tbilisi NGOs launch petition against GD member’s ‘anti-Western statements’

by | March 21, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Some of the most influential non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia on Friday launched a petition against anti-western statements recently made by members of the ruling coalition. A few days ago, a businessman who is leader

News

Court acquits former Saakashvili ally

by | March 20, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Friday acquitted a close ally of former president Saakashviili for abuse of powers while serving as a chief prosecutor of a region in the west of Georgia. Parliament member Roland Akhalaia used to be chief prosecutor

News

Georgian parliament approves new chief justice

by | March 20, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament on Friday approved Nino Gvenetadze as new head of the Supreme Court by 88 votes against 0. President Giorgi Margvelashvili selected Gvenetadze from 28 prospective candidates. Gvenetadze was a Supreme Court

News

Ten police employees fired in Georgia for leaking information

by | March 20, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--An employee of the Georgian Interior Ministry was sacked Thursday because he allegedly had been handing over secret information to parliament member Givi Targamadze from the National Movement. Nine other police employees were also fired

News

27 year old woman killed by ‘jealous’ co-worker

by | March 20, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A 36 year old man shot and killed a 27 year old woman and afterward took his own life in the village Bodbiskhevi in eastern Georgia, International Center of Kakheti (ICK) reports. The news service does not specify when the murder happened.

In brief

Convicted murderer may be free one day after president converts sentence

by | March 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Margvelashvili on Thursday converted the sentence of a man so he will no longer need to spend the rest of his life behind bars. The head of the president’s pardon commission Zviad Koridze said the most serious crime the prisoner

Society

Georgia to allow teenagers to test for HIV without parents knowing

by | March 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is to allow teenagers between 14 and 18 years to test themselves for HIV without permission from their parents or guardian. This is an initiative by the health committee in parliament, which will amend the law on patient rights.

News

Every third woman in Georgia has experienced domestic abuse

by | March 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Every third woman in Georgian has been victim of domestic abuse, but it is not socially accepted to discuss it outside the family. We sat down to talk about the problem with Salome Chagelishvili from Anti-Violence Network of Georgia (AVNG), an

News

Georgian and Russian diplomats clash over new South Ossetia treaty

by | March 19, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian and Georgian diplomats meeting in Geneva for regular talks clashed over a new treaty Russia signed yesterday with the breakaway region South Ossetia. At the latest round of talks, which ended on Wednesday, Georgia brought up the

News

South Ossetia signs treaty on ‘alliance and integration’ with Russia

by | March 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The leader of South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia, was in Moscow on Wednesday and signed a new treaty on alliance and integration with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Georgia, EU, NATO and the United States protested against

News

Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan launch geopolitically important pipeline project

by | March 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The presidents of Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan have agreed to start construction of a natural gas pipeline which will bypass Russia and reduce Europe's energy dependence on Russia. The ceremony was held in Kars, a Turkish city near

Youth

40,000 have registered for entrance exams to study in Georgia

by | March 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--More than 40,000 candidates will try to pass the national exams this summer, in order to enter universities in Georgia. According to the National Assessment and Examinations Center (NAEC), registration for exams in 2015 finished on Tuesday.

News

Warning: Dangerous food products on sale in Georgia

by | March 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Food Agency warns against buying and eating many semi-processed food products after finding that they are contaminated by listeria and salmonella. The agency warns against semi-processed food products from the following companies:

News

Georgian consul in Turkey accused by newspaper of beating woman

by | March 18, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian consul in Istanbul denies a report in a Turkish newspaper that he beat a woman working for him as a stylist. The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported Monday that Consul Irakli Asashvili beat the Moldavian stylist Larisa Berezina at her house,

Politics

Georgia to hold by-election in Martvili as parliament member passes away

by | March 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--There will be this a by-election in one election district in Georgia to elect a replacement for a majoritarian member of parliament who passed away. Nauli Janashia, 68, represented Martvili, a town in the western Samegrelo region,

News

Court acquits pathologist on trial in Georgian PM’s 2005 death

by | March 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Georgia has acquitted a forensic expert who was on trial for negligence in connection with the death of a prime minister in 2005. Levan Chachua sat almost nine months in detention, accused of not noticing marks of violence on the body

Minorities

How community leaders view a child marriage in Pankisi, Georgia

by | March 17, 2015

PANKISI, DFWatch--About a month ago, a 13 year old girl was married to a 23 year old man in Pankisi Gorge with approval from the girl’s parents. This has caused concern in the Council of Women and the Council of Elders, two mediation bodies which play an important

In brief

Traffic update: Still restrictions on some mountain roads

by | March 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Traffic is prohibited for all kinds of vehicles along the Gudauri-Kobi road section in northern Georgia due to intense snow and wind. The Roads Department also warns that it is not allowed to stop on 134km-135km of the Stepantsminda-Larsi

Economy

Money transfers to Georgia fell 22% in February

by | March 17, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The amount of money transfers to Georgia in February fell by 21.7 percent compared to same period last year, according to a new report by the National Bank. The total amount of incoming transfers in February was USD 82.0 million laris;

News

Georgian govt coalition party: ‘Joining NATO now may bring problems’

by | March 16, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The leader of a party that is member of the ruling coalition says that joining NATO doesn’t have to be a priority for Georgia, because the alliance doesn’t plan to accept Georgia and it may also bring problems for the country to join NATO now.

News

Ivanishvili show goes live on Georgian TV with praise of GD government

by | March 16, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Sunday appeared on his new political commentary show ‘2030’ on GDS, a TV channel run by his son Bera. The businessmen quit politics a year ago and started the non-governmental organization

News

Former Tbilisi mayor must stay in detention longer than maximum term

by | March 16, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A court in Tbilisi ruled Sunday that a former mayor and close ally of Mikheil Saakashvili must stay in prison on aggravated charges recently presented by prosecutors. The ruling in Tbilisi City Court came not long before ex-Mayor Gigi

News

Traditional gender roles cause inequality in labor market

by | March 16, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - In Georgia, a woman make less than ⅔ of a man’s salary due to segregation in labor market and prevailing traditional gender roles. Gender pay gap Washington-based Institute

News

UNM, GD supporters clashed in Zugdidi

by | March 15, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Supporters of Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement (UNM) and the ruling Georgian Dream coalition clashed in Zugdidi, western Georgia, resulted in injuries and bitter mutual accusations less than a week before the former plans

In brief

Restrictions on roads in some mountain areas in Georgia

by | March 15, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--There are traffic restrictions on the Ninotsminda road, which leads to the border with Armenia. Restrictions are in effect along the 94km-100km section of the road, where trailers, half-trailers and vehicles with more than 30 seats are

News

Georgia modifies charges against five ex-officials including Saakashvili

by | March 14, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office on Saturday modified the charges against five former high officials, including ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili. In Saakashvili’s and former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili’s cases, the charges

News

Public Defender asks to investigate possible mistreatment by police

by | March 14, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Public Defender in Georgia has asked the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate an instance of alleged mistreatment by police. A prisoner at Kutaisi (“No 2”) prison told Public Defender’s staff about the incident, which took place

News

Ian C. Kelly nominated as new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia

by | March 13, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Ian C. Kelly has been nominated as new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia. Kelly is the U.S. State Department’s diplomat in residence at the University of Illinois at Chicago. If confirmed, he will replace Richard Norland, the current ambassador.

Economy

Georgia’s foreign trade in Jan-Feb fell 9%

by | March 13, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first two months of 2015 fell by 9 percent compared to the same period last year. This is indicated by new preliminary data published by the National Statistics Department (Geostat). The total foreign trade

Politics

Georgian parliament again fails to hold crisis session

by | March 13, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament again failed to hold an extraordinary session about how to tackle a drastic drop in the value of the national currency, the lari. Again, the reason for cancelling the plenary session was that parliament members from the governing

News

New ski resort to open in Svaneti

by | March 13, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new ski resort is to open in the Svaneti region in the northwest of Georgia. The facility in Tetnuldi will open for tourists from December, 2015, according to the government’s press office. It will have the longest ski slope in South Caucasus

In brief

Activists clash at Interior Ministry building

by | March 13, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The leader of a small Georgian opposition party was detained by police for hooliganism on Thursday. The incident took place at an Interior Ministry building in the capital Tbilisi. Kakha Kukava, leader of Free Georgia, was there for some business, when

Youth

Six detained in clashes outside parliament in Tbilisi

by | March 12, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Six people were detained during clashes at a rally against the government’s economic policy outside the old parliament building in Tbilisi on Thursday. Free Zone, an activists group which supports the National Movement, demonstrated

News

Georgia to supply Abkhazia with power as Inguri Dam closes for maintenance

by | March 12, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Abkhaz and Georgian representatives met Thursday to discuss the closing of Europe’s largest hydroelectric dam, Inguri, for several months to carry out maintenance work. The power station is located partly on Georgia-controlled territory

Economy

Foreign investments up 39% in 2014

by | March 12, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Direct foreign investments in Georgia in 2014 was 39 percent more in 2014 than it was in 2013, according to a new preliminary report of the National Statistics Department (Geostat). The amount of the investments in 2014 was USD

News

University tower in Batumi sold for USD 25 million

by | March 12, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A disputed tower building in Batumi, Georgia, was sold on auction on Wednesday. The tower was meant to be a technical university, an initiative of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, but the idea stranded. The building was criticized

Minorities

Sexuality conference goes ahead without incident

by | March 11, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A conference about sexuality went ahead without interruption in Tbilisi on Wednesday, despite an announced protest by conservatives. The conference was organized by Identoba, a group which works against discrimination on the basis of sexual

Minorities

Meskhetians are denied residency permit in Georgia

by | March 11, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Meskhetians who are being repatriated to Georgia are facing obstacles when trying to obtain a residency permit. Now human rights groups are defending their cases in the courts. Iunis Arifov has been living in Akhaltsikhe for the last eight years.

News

Georgia denies that financial dispute delayed Czech parliament’s ratification

by | March 11, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia denies the veracity of a report that the Czech parliament has postponed the ratification of Georgia’s association agreement with the EU because of a dispute about a fine to a large Czech energy company in Georgia. A few days ago,

Politics

Parliament meets Friday for crisis session

by | March 11, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president on Tuesday called a special parliamentary session dedicated to the monetary crisis in the country on March 13 at 12:00. The president’s administration published a decree signed by Giorgi Margvelashvili, which specifies

News

Georgia and China sign new economic agreement

by | March 10, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili signed a new economic agreement with China on Monday, during a visit to the country. From the Chinese side, the agreement was signed by Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng. The agreement

News

Georgian battalion leaves for Afghanistan

by | March 10, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A farewell ceremony was held at Vaziani military base Monday for one hundred Georgian soldiers who are departing for Afghanistan. The soldiers, who come from the 31th infantry battalion, are to take part in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission,

News

Crisis session in parliament this week

by | March 10, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president on Monday decided to call a special session of parliament to let the government face its critics after the national currency dropped thirty percent. Free Democrats MP Irakli Chikovani announced the decision after a meeting

Politics

Saakashvili’s party again demands answers from government

by | March 9, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The National Movement party warns of an economic crisis in Georgia and demands measures from the government. The government claims the situation is under control and the ruling coalition sees no need for scheduling the special session.

In brief

Georgia detains man for distributing counterfeit US dollars

by | March 9, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A man was detained in Georgia on Monday, accused of distributing counterfeit money. According to the Finance Ministry’s investigative service, the accused imported a large amount of counterfeit US dollars and sold it among Georgian citizens. The amount

Minorities

No signs that Mokhe commission has done anything yet

by | March 9, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The conflict between Christians and Muslims continues in a village in southern Georgia. A commission created in December to solve the dispute appears to have done nothing so far. Muslims in Mokhe demonstrated in February against the appointment

Minorities

Activists rally in Tbilisi to demand women’s quotas in politics

by | March 9, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Women comprise 53 percent of the Georgian population but are heavily underrepresented in politics, say activists from Georgian Women’s Movement (GWM), a non-governmental organization working to promote women’s rights. On March 8,

News

Man accused of attacking journalist released on bail

by | March 8, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Saturday released on bail a man suspected of beating a photojournalist and damaging his camera on March 4. The suspect, who is around 21 years old, was released on a 3,000 laris (about USD 1,500) bail pending the first

Minorities

Women’s representation in Georgia unchanged for over a decade

by | March 8, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The percentage of women in local government has remained unchanged for the last fourteen years, according to campaigners. There are currently 11 percent women in city and municipal assemblies. In the previous period, there were 10 percent

In brief

Names of two Georgians killed in New Jersey car crash released

by | March 8, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - The Ministry of Defense released names of the two Georgian students at the US military academy in New Jersey killed during a car crash. The two died soon after Saturday midnight, after 9 am Tbilisi time.

In brief

Two Georgian military students in the US died in car crash

by | March 8, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two Georgian students at military academy in New Jersey died in a car accident soon after Saturday midnight, at about 9 am Tbilisi time. The identity of the two, both in their early 20s, will be released by the Ministry of Defense after notification of their families in Georgia.

News

Three life prisoners get sentence converted to 20 years

by | March 7, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three female prisoners who were in for life on Friday had their sentences converted to fixed term. The decision was announced by Zviad Koridze, head of the president’s pardon commission; one of two such bodies in Georgia. Instead of life,

News

Margvelashvili considering parliament session about currency crisis

by | March 7, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Margvelashvili is reconsidering the idea of having a special parliament session to discuss the crisis sparked by an over 30% drop in the value of the national currency, the lari. At the height of panic a few weeks ago, the president

Security

Russia sends forces for exercises inside Georgian breakaway regions

by | March 7, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia is massing military forces inside the breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and announcing that it is starting military exercises. Official Tbilisi calls on the international community to react to this violation of Georgia’s

Environment

Govt coalition sabotaged vote over inquest into destruction of ancient site

by | March 6, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Parliament in Georgia again failed to create a commission to study the destruction of an ancient gold mine in December. Scientists have found more than 5,400 years old human artefacts in the Sakdrisi cave near Bolnisi, but the archaeologically

Politics

Georgia’s govt fails to present crisis plan by March 5 deadline

by | March 6, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The government in Georgia says it has not yet prepared an action plan for tackling the currency crisis after a drastic drop in the value of the national currency lari over the last few months. An action plan was expected on March 5, after

In brief

Tbilisi slips three places in quality of living ranking

by | March 6, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi ranks 194th among 230 cities in the newest survey of quality of living published by Mercer’s. While last year’s report noted the Georgian capital as the lowest-ranked city in Europe at 191, residents may this year find some comfort

News

Saakashvili urges US senators to supply arms to Ukraine

by | March 5, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is wanted in Georgia in four criminal cases, on Wednesday spoke at a session of the foreign relations committee in the US Senate. Saakashvili was recently appointed head of Ukrainian President Petro

News

Georgian opposition party’s board member helped beat journalist

by | March 5, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police in Georgia have detained a suspect after Wednesday evening’s attack on a photo reporter during an anti-government demonstration. Photographer Irakli Gedenidze from Interpressnews was beaten and had his camera damaged while

News

Journalist beaten in Tbilisi

by | March 5, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--A photo journalist was beaten at a political demonstration in Tbilisi on Wedneday. Irakli Gedenidze, who works for new agency Interpressnews, came to Roses Square to cover a rally against the falling lari rate organized by the Reformers, Free Georgia

News

Georgia’s oldest member of parliament (88) retires

by | March 5, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The oldest member of the Georgian parliament, 88 year old Giorgi (Gogi) Ochiauri, has asked to be relieved for health reasons. Ochiauri is a professor at the Academy of Arts. He was elected from the National Movement party list in October, 2012.

In brief

Georgia pardons eight female prisoners to mark Mother’s Day

by | March 5, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president pardoned eight women on Monday in connection with Mother’s Day, which in Georgia is marked on March 3. Zviad Koridze, head of the president’s pardon commission, said at a press conference on Monday that four among

News

Prisoners with life sentence call off hunger strike

by | March 4, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--47 prisoners with life-long sentences have ended their hunger strike after more than a month without getting what they demanded. Almost 60 prisoners were part of the protest when it began in late January. Their demand was to be included

Environment

Court rules Sakdrisi should have remained protected heritage site

by | March 4, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government lost its appeal in the case about lifting the protected status of an ancient gold mine in order to open for commercial exploitation. Tbilisi City Court decided last summer that the ministry was wrong

Politics

Georgia’s governing coalition received most donations in 2014

by | March 4, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Dream received almost 82 percent of all political donations in Georgia in 2014. In total, 7.4 million laris (USD 3.7 million) was donated to political parties and subjects last year. The State Audit Office, a government body tasked

In brief

Number of Tourists declined in Jan-Feb, 2015: MIA

by | March 3, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - In the wake of tightening visa regulations by the Geoorgian government and crisis in Ukraine, the latest data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia showed decline in numbers of tourists and overall visitors in Georgia. However, according to the same data, number of the transit visitors increased. 

News

Evnoy to Russia accuses Free Democrats of Incompetence

by | March 3, 2015

Tbilisi, DFWatch - A cross-fire between political team of the Former Defense Minister and Georgia's Special Envoy to Negotiations with Russia went sour after the latter's remarks over Georgia's NATO membership prospects. Zurab Abashidze,

Politics

Saakashvili’s party planning rallies to unseat the government

by | March 2, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s former ruling party, the National Movement, is preparing to take to the streets this spring in a change of roles since a few years back. The call comes after the government refused to show up in parliament on Saturday to debate

In brief

Georgian president speaks out against discrimination

by | March 2, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Giorgi Margvelashvili on Sunday highlighted the most pressing problems Georgia faces in terms of discrimination, as he observed United Nation’s Zero Discrimination Day. He drew particular attention to violence against women and

News

Body of dead 19 year old handed over by South Ossetia

by | March 1, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--On Saturday, the body of a dead 19-year-old handed over to Georgian authorities by the breakaway region South Ossetia. David Basharuli was found hanging from a tree in a small village in South Ossetia in January, after having been reported missing

Interviews

World famous game designer gets inspired by Georgian myths

by | March 1, 2015

TBILISI, DFWatch--“Amirani is the legendary first Zombie, some worship him. Legend has it that he is the original Prometheus and still chained to the Caucasus Mountains, he brought fire to humans and half life to us. Three Angels made him

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