Monthly Archives: July 2012

//July

Fatal car crash allegedly involving president’s escort

By | July 31st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Witnesses say one of President Saakashvili’s escort cars was involved in a car accident on the highway near Gori, which left a driver of another car dead and four others injured. Witnesses say one of the president’s escort cars crashed into […]

Government took millions in loans while running Cartu Bank

By | July 31st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – While the opposition affiliated Cartu Bank was temporarily under state management recently, USD 50 million was taken in loans. The bank, which is associated with President Saakashvili’s main competitor Bidzina Ivanishvili, plans to go to court […]

Bushfire in Vashlovani National Park

By | July 31st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A fire in Georgia has burned down more than one thousand hectares of land in the eastern Vashlovani National Park. The environment minister said the reason for the fire, which started on Monday at about 17:00, was negligence. It has now been […]

Georgia’s health insurance system has flaws: report

By | July 31st, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new report by Transparency International Georgia (TI) shows that the country’s health insurance system has major flaws. The study shows that there are mistakes when lists of beneficiaries of insurance programs are being worked out. […]

Former AC Milan player Kakhi Kaladze denied appeal hearing

By | July 31st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The former footballer, now opposition campaigner Kakhi Kaladze has been deprived of the right to appeal the seizure of his bank accounts. This news was relayed by Shalva Tadumadze, a lawyer for the former AC Milan player. Tbilisi City Court […]

Opposition activists accuse bank of tampering with accounts

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A member of the Georgian Dream coalition’s campaign team Monday started a rally in front of Bank of Georgia in Lanchkhuti, a small town in the western Guria region. Shota Pirtskhalaishvili is one of over twenty opposition campaigners who claim that […]

Channel 9 journalist blackmailed

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian Ombudsman says the blackmailing of a journalist working for the opposition affiliated Channel 9 TV contains the signs of a crime. Journalist Nodar Chachua, who used to work for one of the three pro-government channels, says he was […]

Secrets revealed of how Georgia’s political police operates

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A memory card belonging to a policeman in a small village has been presented by an organization which says it reveals how authorities are systematically monitoring people’s political sympathies. The memory card belongs to Shmagi Uratadze, who works […]

Seizures without Prosecution

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

One of the blatant illegalities that the Georgian authorities have repeatedly committed in the last few months is that they seize one’s property without bringing charges against the owner of such property or any other person with whom the owner may somehow […]

Georgia nationalizes geological information

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian state takes over ownership of information about fossil and mineral resources in the country. Before, this information was the private property of the company that did the geological survey. The government explains this with a need […]

Most Georgian illegals abroad won’t be able to vote

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Most Georgians who live illegally abroad may not be able to vote in the upcoming elections, after Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Minister made the rules for qualifying as a voter stricter. There are no precise data about Georgian citizens living illegally abroad, […]

Georgia loses 17th soldier in Afghanistan

By | July 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch –Georgia has lost its 17th soldier in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The Georgian Defense Ministry informs that Givi Pantsulaia, born in 1984, died Saturday at Gori Military Hospital. “Corporal Givi Pantsuala received injuries […]

Georgians subject to human trafficking in Turkey

By | July 29th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – 22 Georgians have become victim of human trafficking in Turkey. Georgian media reports that Lasha Navareli, a mediator, promised the men, who are from the village Alaverdi near Zestaponi, that they would be employed in Turkey with a salary […]

London Olympics noted Georgian athletes as born in Russia

By | July 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Organizers of the London Olympics have stepped into a diplomatic minefield after mistakenly referring to two athletes born in Georgian breakaway republics as Russians. On the official website of the London Olympics, Deni Tsargushi is described […]

Burjanadze supporter released after 16 hours questioning

By | July 28th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former public servant who joined an opposition party was released later Friday evening. The Interior Minister said that Zaza Sopromadze was not arrested, but was only called in to the Prosecutor’s Office as a witness. Police came […]

Kakhi Kaladze’s appeal fast-tracked

By | July 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian professional footballer who ended his career to join politics has appealed the seizure of his bank accounts. But the appeals court says it will process the appeal “without an oral hearing”, which means that there will not be a […]

Georgia’s embassy in U.S. engaged in election campaigning

By | July 28th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Transparency International Georgia asks the country’s foreign ministry not to let the diplomatic service be used for political means. According to information provided by TI, the Georgian embassy in the United States is sending out e-mails […]

Prisoners to go on hunger strike before election

By | July 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Human rights campaigners in Georgia are organizing a hungerstrike among prisoners in connection with the election for parliament. Organizers are the groups ‘Political Prisoners against the Dictate of Five’, ‘For Protection of Human Rights’ […]

Burjanadze supporter detained by police

By | July 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A supporter of a former government top who is now in the opposition was arrested Friday morning. For unknown reasons, Interior Ministry gave explanations for the arrest instead of Prosecutor’s office. Those two are different bodies, […]

Construction of new parliament halted due to strike

By | July 27th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Construction workers rallied in Kutaisi today at the site of the new parliament building they have been employed with constructing, demanding to get paid. The workers refuse to work until they get their salaries, which they claim they haven’t been […]

Kakhi Kaladze’s bank accounts seized

By | July 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi City Court accuses a former football player turned opposition activist of money laundering and has seized his bank accounts. Maia Panjikidze, spokesperson for Georgian Dream, said that leveling such accusations against Kakhi Kaladze, […]

Ivanishvili given back control over shares in Cartu and Progress

By | July 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A bank director in Georgia who authorities removed from his job will get his old job back. This follows from a decision to revoke the seizure of all 100 percent shares in Cartu Group and 22 percent of Progress Bank, effective Thursday […]

GeoStat notes increasing foreign trade

By | July 27th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s National Statistics Department notes growth in the country’s foreign trade turnover in the first half of 2012. Growth is 17 percent more than the same period in 2011 and equals USD 4 866 million. Georgia is importing more than […]

Media send second appeal for Maestro’s satellite dishes

By | July 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Media workers in Georgia Thursday delivered another appeal to the Chief Prosecutor’s office, asking to revoke the seizure of satellite dishes belonging to Maestro TV. The campaign first appealed to the prosecutor on July 23. This time, […]

Budget cuts passed to free money for disaster aid

By | July 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A bill to amend the 2012 budget to free money for cleanup work and compensation after a storm July 19 has been passed by parliament in Georgia. The total size of the budget, more than 7 billion lari, has not been changed. Instead, money has […]

Ruling party ex-MP vows objectivity as audit service head

By | July 26th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A former high-ranking member of parliament who was appointed new head of the audit service promises that he will be fair, independent, professional and objective. Lasha Tordia was appointed to the position after the former head, Levan Bezhashvili, left […]

Details of emergency funds spending presented

By | July 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – “Everything which is not secret, is public”. This is how the Georgian finance minister answers the opposition, who demand to know what the reserve funds have been spent on. The two reserve funds, one controlled by the government and the other by […]

Communications commission is violating the law

By | July 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s National Communications Commission (GNCC) is violating a recently amended law obliging it to inform the public as well as cable companies and TV channels directly, within one week of the must-carry and must-offer principles coming […]

‘Dish protest’ in front of parliament

By | July 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Media workers and others demonstrated in front of the old parliament in Tbilisi Wednesday in support of Maestro TV. They demanded the immediate return of equipment seized from the company. The crowd held real and symbolic satellite […]

Woman dragged away from cameras and locked in a cellar

By | July 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An elderly woman who tried to approach President Saakashvili to tell him about her family’s problems, ended up being dragged away from the TV cameras and locked in a cellar Tuesday. The incident happened in Tsaishi, a village near […]

Ivanishvili pays state USD 48 mill to help storm victims

By | July 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s main competitor Bidzina Ivanisvhili yesterday gave 80 million lari to the state. This is about USD 48 million. He says the government has denied him of all other ways to help the disaster struck population, and therefore he decided […]

Amnesty warns against political clashes in Georgia

By | July 25th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Amnesty International expresses concern about the recent violence against opposition supporters and journalists in Georgia. In a new report, the organizations describes cases of verbal and physical abuse against Georgian Dream activists who […]

Georgian audit service gets new director

By | July 25th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The head of parliament’s committee on human rights will replace the head of the audit service. Davit Bakradze, Speaker of Parliament, announced the decision Tuesday during a visit to Abasha, small town in the Samegrelo region. The audit service […]

Georgian Dream demands more transparency in crisis funds

By | July 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In Georgia, the main opposition bloc Georgian Dream accuses the government of having recklessly spent the state reserve funds, set apart to handle disasters. According to law, the two crisis funds, one controlled by the government and […]

Georgian Dream supports non-use of violence declaration

By | July 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition Georgian Dream coalition is ready to join a declaration asking for a competitive, fair and peaceful election. Maia Panjikidze, spokesperson for the coalition, said Monday that the coalition supports a document published July 16 […]

More equipment seized from Maestro TV

By | July 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – More of Maestro’s satellite equipment was seized yesterday by police on the Georgian border, the company’s director informs. Ilia Kikabidze, General Director of Maestro TV, today said at a press conference that three cars were seized yesterday, […]

Georgia starts negotiations with EU about visa free travel

By | July 24th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has started negotiations with the EU about liberalization of visa rules. Today, the EU Commission’s Director General for Development met the Georgian deputy foreign minister in Brussels. According to Georgia’s foreign ministry, […]

TV studio robbed, suspects political reasons

By | July 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An independent TV studio in Georgia had its offices robbed, and suspects political reasons. Studio Monitor, which makes investigative reports for Maestro TV, was subject to a break-in on July 22. Its main work deals with producing […]

Ivanishvili once more offers to help storm victims

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s main competitor Bidzina Ivanishvili says he does not trust the government’s official data about the amount of losses due to an extreme storm on July 19. Ivanishvili says his opposition Georgian Dream coalition is […]

Saakashvili uses state coffers to repair storm damage

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government in Georgia has set aside 162 million lari to deal with the losses because of last week’s storm. The money is to be taken from other parts of the state budget. Finance Minister Dimitry Gvindadze explains that a special fund […]

The head of Georgia’s audit service resigns

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The head of Georgia’s audit service today resigned in order to help people affected by the storm in Kakheti last week. Levan Bezhashvili has held the position since 2008. Monday, he announced his decision to resign, on the fifth day […]

Media campaign in support of Maestro TV

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Media in Georgia have launched a campaign in support of TV company Maestro, which had thousands of satellite dishes seized by authorities. Ilia Kikabidze, general director of Maestro TV, Lasha Tughushi, editor in chief of newspaper […]

How tourists see Georgia and what they expect

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Luis from Ecuador has been traveling for seven years around the world. This time he stops in Georgia for a while. He hadn’t heard much about this country, but stopped by here on his way to somewhere else. Then he decided to stay for several weeks. […]

One arrested as Ivanishvili visits disaster area

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Police in Georgia has arrested one member of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition after he hit a female employee of the local government in Gurjaani, a town in eastern Georgia which was hit by a storm. Information Center Kakheti reports that […]

Increasing oil import to Georgia due to tourism

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia increased its import of oil by 8.5 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to last year and is now at 378 323 764 kg. Analysts say the increasing import is related to larger numbers of tourists visiting the country. The figure was […]

Government goes outside to help in cleanup work

By | July 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The entire cabinet in Georgia is personally taking part in cleanup work in villages affected by hail storm on July 19. In around 40 villages that were hit, 2 200 houses were left roofless, according to local government. Some villages are […]

Media workers gather in support of Maestro TV

By | July 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – 20 media outlets in Georgia gathered today at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel to discuss the recent seizure of satellite dishes belonging to Maestro TV. The media workers consider the prosecutor office’s action illegal and appeal to both the government […]

How storm wrecked havoc in eastern Georgia

By | July 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

GURJAANI, DFWatch – There are no windows left in the Salimov family house. Their bread bakery has collapsed together with the pantry. Everything that is wet has been taken outside in the sun to dry, while a giant walnut tree has fallen down and wrecked havoc […]

Saakashvili using state budget to secure election victory

By | July 21st, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new report warns that the government may be using money from the state budget to affect the outcome of the election. ”The state budget is less defined. So there is a risk that the ruling party will use it for its own interests,” explained Eka Gigauri, […]

Ivanishvili offers to cover population’s losses after storm

By | July 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s main competitor, who accuses the government of abusing the legal system to intervene in his party’s election campaign, offers the government 10 million lari, or USD 6.1 million, as assistance to people affected by the recent storm. […]

Non-use of violence declaration expanded

By | July 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government in Georgia will add points prepared by non-government organizations to the declaration of acting regulations for elections. But it is still unknown whether Georgian Dream will join this declaration or not. Even though […]

Government rules out extending media diversity law

By | July 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian government does not intend to change its position in regards of to implementing the must-carry and must-offer principles. This means that it does not go along with the recommendation of foreign ambassadors in Georgia. These asked […]

Ivanishvili offers to help flood victims, Saakashvili considers

By | July 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s Speaker of Parliament says the prime minister should decide whether opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili may be allowed to help reimburse losses suffered after yesterday’s storm. Ivanishvili’s opposition Georgian Dream coalition has offered to help […]

New web portal to map out election violations in Georgia

By | July 20th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

A new portal in Georgia has been created to let people report violations during the election period. The website is called the Multi-NGO Elections Portal, and aims at collecting information about alleged violations and incident throughout the election period. […]

Tbilisi death jumpers used car safety belt, likely cause

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The inquest into the death of a 23 year old woman and a 25 year old man after a rope jump from a bridge in Tbilisi is not yet finished, but there are indications that what caused the tragedy was the use of a provisional mechanism involving […]

Georgian opposition announces candidates for Tbilisi

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Bidzina Ivanishvili Thursday announced the names of all ten majoritarian candidates for Tbilisi and several candidates in the regions. This time his opposition Georgian Dream coalition brings forth many popular names. Some of the candidates […]

Livestock killed by storm in eastern Georgia

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia was hit by a storm Thursday that killed livestock and injured eighteen people and caused flooding in the capital. Local media in the eastern region of Kakheti report that heavy rain was followed by a hail storm, causing difficulties […]

Child poverty is still high in Georgia

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The poverty rate in Georgia has been reduced, but child poverty is still very high. According to a survey conducted by UNICEF, far too many children are still living in poverty, however the rate of poverty has been reduced by 2 percent from […]

Opposition activists fined USD 200 000

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi City Court Wednesday fined six representatives of the main opposition movement USD 200 000 for donating money to their own political movement, Georgian Dream. The court made its decision under mediation of the State Audit Service, which […]

Diplomatic pressure to extend must-carry beyond election

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A working group of ambassadors in Georgia calls on the government to extend the term of the temporary must-carry and must-offer principles to beyond election day. UNDP on Wednesday released a statement after the meeting of the working group […]

Georgia sees 8 percent growth so far in ’12

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s GDP grew 1.3 percent in second quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter and is now at 8.1 percent, according to official statistics. Georgia’s National Statistics Department points out that these are preliminary figures, […]

Rejoice Gods of Georgian Democracy!

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

Prometheus is in the Cave! by Tedo Japaridze, former foreign minister of Georgia and political advisor to Bidzina Ivanishvili.Last year, the government of Georgia held a session of the cabinet in a grotto named after the mythical martyr of humanity, Prometheus, […]

Russia responds to Georgian human rights comment

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Moscow suggests that Tbilisi solves its own problems with democracy and human rights, before giving advise to Russia about saving democracy. This is a statement of Alexander Lukashevich, spokesperson for the Russian Federation’s Foreign […]

Georgian Dream names 12 more candidates for parliament

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s main competitor Bidzina Ivanishvili has named 12 more majoritarian candidates to stand for election from regions outside of Tbilisi. The Georgian Dream coalition has until now named 40 majoritarian candidates. The rest, including […]

Skadden to represent Ivanishvili

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The international law firm Skadden is going to represent the Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in his struggle as opposition politician. Yesterday, he met David Herlihy, head of Skadden’s London office and Gregory Craig, head […]

Police in Georgia seize 8 000 satellite dishes

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Another eight thousand satellite dishes belonging to Maestro TV has been seized by the police. The seizure comes in addition to an action by the prosecutor’s office on July 11, when tens of thousands of satellite dishes were seized from Maestro. […]

Three opposition activists arrested

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Three Georgian Dream activists were arrested July 16 on suspicion of bribery. According to the Justice Ministry, one of the suspects, Merab Kachakhidze, transferred 7 000 lari to the chair of the Conservative party’s branch in Mtatsminda […]

Inflation in Georgia – Causes and Cures

By | July 17th, 2012|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , |

In 2011 inflation can be regarded as one of the major challenges for the Georgian economy, writes Irina Guruli, program coordinator at the Economic Policy Research Center. Even though Georgia has been successful in suppressing the inflationary pressure […]

Russian general says bases guarantee stability in Caucasus

By | July 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A Russian general says there won’t be another war with Georgia, thanks to military bases stationed in the two breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “There will not take place a recurrence of conflict in the Caucasus,” said Vladimir […]

Surveys differing wildly ahead of Georgian election

By | July 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition Georgian Dream party does not trust the results of a survey conducted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which shows that the governing party of President Saakashvili has twice as much support as Georgian Dream. […]

Ivanishvili’s dolphinarium taken over in Batumi

By | July 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Batumi City Council has replaced the director of the local dolphinarium after security guards entered the facility Monday. The dolphinarium in Batumi was reopened on the initiative of the local government after 20 years of non-functioning. This […]

Democracy campaign welcomes non-violent initiative

By | July 17th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Campaigners in Georgia welcome an initiative by the government to make political actors commit to not use or incite violence during the election campaign. The campaign This Affects You Too thinks that such an agreement between political parties […]

Media in Georgia demonstrated for the right to information

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Media workers in Georgia demonstrated Monday in support of a TV company. They were protesting the seizure of thousands by the Ministry of Justice of satellite dishes belonging to TV company Maestro. The background is a marketing push by […]

Georgia moved de facto border some hundred meters

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia June 29 moved a police checkpoint a few hundred meters into Russian-controlled territory in the South Ossetian breakaway region. The EU has been mediating talks on the ensuing controversy. The checkpoint was moved from the village Mereti […]

Georgian opposition is closing the gap on Saakashvili

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new poll shows that the opposition Georgian Dream movement has nearly doubled its support in the last six months. But it still has a long way to go to match the ruling National Movement party, if the poll is correct. The ruling party has […]

Two die in rope jumping accident in Tbilisi

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A 23-year old woman and a 25-year old man died in a rope jumping accident in Tbilisi on Sunday. The two jumped together from a bridge. The woman, Mariam Kandashvili, died on the spot, while the man, Goga Goletiani, was taken to hospital, […]

Government proposes non-use of violence in election campaign

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian government calls for political parties to commit to not use or incite violence during this year’s election process. The declaration submitted for parties to sign commits them to not use violence, nor call for violence or voice […]

Ivanishvili wants to reopen Ergneti market

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The main opposition bloc in Georgia mobilized 15 000 people Sunday in Gori, the town closest to the capital which was occupied by Russia in the 2008 war. Georgian Dream front man Bidzina Ivanishvili promised to normalize relations with Russia […]

Ivanishvili company’s assets seized, but must pay fine

By | July 15th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI – Authorities in Georgia have issued a 2 million dollar fine to one of opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili’s companies, and at the same time seized all its assets. The reason for both decisions is that according to the State Audit Service, […]

Police to provide security at campaign events

By | July 14th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian government is to start providing police security during opposition campaign events. The opposition Georgian Dream was Thursday driven out of the village Karaleti by a stone-throwing crowd. 13 people were hospitalised, […]

Media freedom used as weapon in Georgian politics

By | July 14th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Do you know the deductive method? Who was Jack London? What is Watergate? These are some of the important questions an unknown woman recently asked a reporter for info9, again and again, apparently in order to keep him from doing […]

Former Milan player Kakhi Kaladze’s bodyguard arrested

By | July 14th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Police in Georgia say they have arrested five suspects after violent clashes between government supporters and opposition activists Thursday led to thirteen people being hospitalized. Among them is the bodyguard of former AC Milan […]

More violent incidents during Georgian election campaign

By | July 14th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An employee of a public library who was fired in June claims the reason was her political opinion. She openly says she sympathizes with the opposition Georgian Dream party established by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. The library’s director, […]

Maestro journalists defend TV station’s integrity

By | July 14th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Journalists with Maestro demonstrated in front of the old parliament building in Tbilisi Friday. Their demand was that authorities return satellite receivers seized from the TV company a few days ago, so journalists be let to continue their […]

Soldier shot in the head in Georgia

By | July 13th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Kahketi Information Center Friday morning reported that a 19 year old solider had died from a gunshot wound to the head. Later the same day, the Defense Ministry confirmed the death of Koba Makharashvili in a short statement, which said that […]

Opposition takes measures against harassment of athletes

By | July 13th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition Georgian Dream movement is campaigning to defend athletes against government harassment, but the sports minister says there is no harassment. Over 130 athletes have signed a petition organized by the opposition […]

Cartu Bank’s entire management fired

By | July 13th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – After Georgian authorities took over Cartu Bank in a criminal forfeiture process, the interim manager has fired the entire old management. Vladmer Ugulava, who now controls the bank on behalf of the government, yesterday fired both […]

Is there a pharmaceutical cartel in Georgia?

By | July 13th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Transparency International Georgia on May 22 presented the results of a study showing that three pharmaceutical companies control almost the whole Georgian market. The three companies are: AVERSI (35 %), PSP (30%) and GPC (15%). […]

Georgia’s health care sector a Klondyke for commercial interests

By | July 13th, 2012|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new study shows that the as the health care sector in Georgia has been privatised, the private health business has gained control over the hospitals. Herald De Bour, project coordinator for Transparency International’s study, […]

13 in hospital after opposition rally turns into street fight

By | July 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A street fight broke out Thursday during an opposition meeting in a Georgian village. The scuffle involved both journalists and others being beaten. The opposition Georgian Dream coalition was visiting Karaleti, a village close to the breakaway […]

Opposition movement selects 15 more candidates

By | July 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s main competitor Bidzina Ivanishvili has announced 15 majoritarian candidates that will stand in single mandate districts around in the different regions of Georgia. During rallies in May, the Georgian Dream coalition announced 19 […]

Georgian TV station’s ads considered illegal funding

By | July 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The State Audit Service has intervened in the activity of the TV company Maestro, demanding information about advertising agreements and money transfers with Georgian Dream and Komagi foundation, which is also affiliated with the Georgian Dream […]

Georgian asylum seekers arrested for theft in Germany

By | July 12th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – German media reports that Georgians are among the suspects in a bust against shop-lifters in the city of Bielefeld in Germany. The suspects are Georgian and Ukrainian. Several people have been convicted. A man of about 29 from Ukraine stole perfume […]

Chlorine leak in Tbilisi claims one victim

By | July 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A chlorine leak in Tbilisi July 3 has claimed one death as 18 year old Lasha Narimanidze died from poisoning. The leak happened in the evening from tanks in the Tbilisi suburb Lilo. It poisoned up to 80 people. Lasha Narimanidze was in a serious […]

Cartu Group and Progress Bank seized by authorities

By | July 12th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The National Enforcement Bureau has asked Tbilisi City Court to transfer the shares of Cartu Group and Progress Bank to a compulsory management regime. The Enforcement Bureau seized all 100 percent shared that Georgian Dream coalition leader Bidzina […]

Second TV station targetted in satellite dish clamp-down

By | July 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Government is to seize satellite receivers belonging to the small, independent TV station Maestro under a controversial new party finance regulation. The Prosecetor’s Office suspects that Maestro is distributing satellite receivers to voters […]

Less Georgians want NATO membership

By | July 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – There is a significant drop in support among Georgians for their country being integrated in NATO. In six months, the level of support has fallen from 70 to 62 percent. Also the support for Georgia being integrated with the EU has dropped since […]

Bulgaria recognizes Georgian neutral passports

By | July 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Bulgaria has sided with Georgia in a dispute over how to allow the civilian population in Georgia’s breakaway regions travel abroad. Two regions broke away from Georgia during the breakup of the Socviet Union, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, leading […]

Georgia to supply US military

By | July 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The former Soviet republic of Georgia is to become a supplier of goods the U.S. military. Georgian Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili announced the news Tuesday during the opening of a conference on Georgian-American cooperation in Batumi. […]

French senators on field trip near disputed Georgian village

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A group of French senators on a midsummer visit Tuesday toured close to a village which was taken by Russia in the 2008 war. The senators’s trip took them to the surrounding area close to the village Akhalgori. The village was renamed Leningor […]

Official murdered in South Ossetia

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Media in Russia and Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia report that the head of the investigation department at the de facto South Ossetian Prosecutor General’s office has been murdered. Roland Chitayev was reported kidnapped on Monday […]

OSCE passes resolution about Georgia

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly Monday passed a resolution about Georgia, which uses the term ‘occupation’ about Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The resolition also calls on Russia to live up to the terms of the […]

Georgia hit by new floods

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Heavy rain caused flooding in several parts of Georgia Tuesday. In Kutaisi, the second largest city, first floors and basements are under water. In Batumi, a defective drainage channel let to rivers of water in the roads. Local media in the […]

Russian military presence called occupation

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Russian military presence in Georgia’s breakaway regions are increasingly being called an occupation. The first to use the term was U.S. representatives. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the term during a visit to Tbilisi in 2010. […]

One more prisoner dies in Tbilisi, rumours abound

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – There is still no confirmation of an alleged raid of a prison in Tbilisi Friday night. In the meantime, one more prisoner has been confirmed dead. The Prison Ministry confirmed a second death at Geguti prison. Again, the cause of death was heart […]

Georgian elected vice president of OSCE’s parliamentary assembly

By | July 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Vice Speaker of Parliament was today elected as one of the vice presidents of OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly. OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly are gathered in Monaco to elect a president and vice presidents. Riccardo Migliori, […]

Ministers bring staff with them in Georgian gov’t reshuffle

By | July 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Two ministers who where switched around in a government reshuffle are taking their staff with them. Former education minister Dimitry Shashkin is the new defense minister, and officials from the education ministry are now following after him. […]

Saakashvili offers help to Russian flood victims

By | July 9th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has offered to send rescue teams to Russia to help the flood victims in the Krasnodar region. Manana Manjgaladze, spokesperson for Georgian President said on Sunday that the president expresses his deep […]

Opposition activists fined USD 700 000

By | July 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi City Court on Sunday fined seventeen opposition supporters USD 700 000 for illegal campaign donations. In local currency, the exact size of the fines are 1 202 000 lari, collectively. The State Audit Service, which is entitled to track […]

Georgian athletes clash, this time in politics

By | July 9th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A Georgian Olympic judo champion says a sports hall named after him in Eastern Georgia was renamed and his photos taken down from the walls after he decided to support the opposition Georgian Dream coalition; however the governor of the […]

Church appeals for mercy as another prisoner dies in Georgia

By | July 8th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Shortly after rumours of a raid inside the largest prison in the country, Georgia’s Prison Ministry reports of yet another prisoner death. The Patriarch calls on prison directors to treat inmates with more respect. The Ministry of Corrections […]

OSCE says Russia is occupying Georgian regions

By | July 8th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly July 9 is to adopt a resolution which for the first time calls the presence of Russian military in Georgia’s breakaway regions an occupation. The resolution deals with the current situation in Georgia. The ten point […]

Two still in prison after street fight at Ivanishvili rally

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Two of the four who were imprisoned following a street fight at one of opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili’s campaign rallies have been released. The scuffle took place on June 26 in Mereti, a village near a Russian-Ossetian check point. […]

Unconfirmed reports about prison raid in Tbilisi

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Friday evening there was a rush of postings on Facebook and Internet forums saying that a special unit had raided the prison in Gldani, in northern Tbilisi, beaten the prisoners, resulting on two deaths. It started Friday evening when two Facebook […]

Georgia comes down hard on companies helping opposition

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Tbilisi City Court handed out fines totalling USD 6.7 mill Friday and Saturday. A company was found guilty of lending 45 cars to the opposition for free, and fined USD 5.2 mill, while that company and another was fined USD 1.4 mill for letting them […]

Political audits continue with more people on trial

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The State Audit Service, which used to be called the Chamber of Control, has seized property and bank accounts of a company which they say belongs to opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. The audit service also determined seventeen people […]

22 year old woman dies after giving birth

By | July 7th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A 22 year old woman has died at a maternity hospital in Telavi, a town in Eastern Georgia. Khatira Ukanova delivered a baby by Caesarean section on July 2. Three days later she was let go home, but yesterday she was submitted to hospital because […]

Kristali director to face trial for chlorine leak

By | July 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Chair of Kristali Ltd, the company responsible for a chlorine leak on Tuesday, was Friday sentenced to pre-trial detention. July 3, a chlorine leak in the Lilo district of Tbilisi poisoned around 80 people. Georgian Water Company said it was […]

Reshuffle continues in Georgia’s government

By | July 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The brother of Interior Minister Bacho Abkhalaia, Data Akhalaia, has been appointed to the post of deputy defense minister. He was head of the Interior Ministry’s Constitutional Security Department. Data Akhalaia resigned after it became known […]

Georgian Church wants optional biometric ID cards

By | July 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Holy Synod appeals to the government not to make it obligatory to have ID cards with micro chips, but confirms that it’s not dangerous to use such cards. The Georgian government last year introduced a new kind of ID cards, and aims at […]

Brussels is focusing on Georgia’s internal politics

By | July 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Brussels is mainly concentrating on what happens with Georgian reforms and internal politics. On Abakhazia and South-Ossetia, everybody thinks that for as long as Russia will recognize these two territories as independent states, there is not much […]

Young lawyers warn that refugees are neglected by new law

By | July 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A loud discussion broke out in parliament Thursday, as the human rights committee held a hearing about the status of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA) confronted members of the ruling National […]

Stalkers with cameras followed journalist for a week

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A journalist from an online media outlet financed by Channel 9 has been stalked for a week by a group of up to ten people with video cameras asking her weird questions. Ekaterine Dugladze is a journalist at info9.ge, a new website financed by Channel 9, […]

Van Rompuy calls for fair elections in Georgia

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch –European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says the upcoming elections will be a crucial indicator of the progress Georgia has made on its path to reform. He thereby added his voice to many figures in the international community who continue […]

The Saakashvili government’s osteochondrosis

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

This headline shouldn’t concern us. It has a sarcastic meaning, but should not be taken as mockery. It is only a convenient metaphor for understanding today’s processes, because this naturally derives from the government’s early formula – ‘Merabishvili […]

Three detained in killing of former Georgian general

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A court in Moscow has placed three persons into pre-trial detention until August 21, accused of killing a former Georgian general. Roman Dumbadze sided with the rebels during a stand-off between the region Adjara and Tbilisi authorities, a […]

Government-critical TV stations join together

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Two government-critical TV stations in Georgia are to start broadcasting from the same studios. The two are Channel 9, run by associates of Bidzina Ivanishvili, front man of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition, and Maestro TV, a small, […]

Prime mimister’s powers are increased

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – At a time when Vano Merbaishvili was not yet confirmed as Prime Minister, a bill was brought to parliament to increase the authority of the prime minister. Parliament passed it at the first hearing. According to the bill, which was proposed by the […]

UN calls for Georgia’s internal refugees to be let to return

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The UN General Assembly July 3 passed a resolution calling for internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia and so called South Ossetia, Tskhinvali region, to be let to return home. It was a humanitarian resolution, addressing demographic […]

Georgian parliament confirms controversial new PM

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Parliament voted 102 against 7 today to declare trust in the new government and its action plan presented by a former Interior Minister. From now on, Georgia’s prime minister will be Vano Merabishvili. The former defense minister will take over […]

Chlorine leak poisoned dozens in Tbilisi

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A chlorine leak in Tbilisi yesterday evening poinsoned more than 80 people. One person is in a comatose condition. The leak happened around nine in the evening at a private industrial area in the Lilo district on the southern edge of the capital. […]

Government’s newfound leftism considered suspicious

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government’s action plan ‘More Benefits to People’ is entirely based on social issues. This is now sparking criticism from experts and government opponents. The first promise new Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili made was to give each family […]

Georgian Interior Ministry loses another top official

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Another central figure in Georgia’s Interior Ministry resigns, after recent changes in the government. Shota Utiashvili, former head of the Ministry’s Department for Analysis, today announced his decision to leave. He did not say who will be his […]

Human rights group alarmed by situation in Geo prisons

By | July 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Prisoners in Georgia are getting support from democracy campaigners who protested outside one of the most infamous prisons. Non-governmental organizations protested against prisoner abuse in No. 15 detention facility in Ksani at the hands of […]

Germany’s CDU calls for Saakashvili to hold fair election

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Germany’s Christian Democrat party calls for democratic elections in Georgia in October. In a press release entitled Ensure Fair Elections in Georgia, the CDU’s faction in the Bundestag calls for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to take […]

Georgia’s Basis Bank bought by Hualing Group

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – One of China’s largest companies, Hualing Group, has bought a 90 percent share in Georgia’s Basis Bank. Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade (Group) Co. Ltd., Basis Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development today held a joint press […]

Merabishvili presents USD 12 billion action plan

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government plans to spend four billion lari to develop agriculture, six billion on pensions, three billion on health insurance, three billion on social assistance and four billion on education. Changes have been made in the government, with […]

Georgia’s new power ministers: Akhalaia and Shashkin

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s former defense minister has been appointed new interior minister. The former education minister will take his place, and the former rector of Police Academy will be new education minister. Bachana (“Bacho”) Akhalaia will take the position […]

Petre Tsiskarishvili explains Merabishvili’s promotion

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Mikheil Saakashvili Saturday appointed interior minister Vano Merabishvili as prime minister. DF Watch spoke to Petre Tsiskarishvili about the surprise announcement. Tsiskarishvili is parliamentary leader of the majority National Movement party. He says that […]

Georgia’s new prime minister makes bold promises

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s new prime minister Vano Merabishvili has already started making promises, as only three months are left until the parliamentary elections. In a speech Monday in the Gldani district of Tbilisi, near a construction site of a vocational […]

Saakashvili may have violated constitution

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili’s appointment of a former interior minister as prime minister may have been in violation of the constitution, and therefore invalid. One of Georgia’s most experienced constitutional experts, Vakhtang Khmaladze, says […]

Georgia gets new minister for employment

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s new prime minister Vano Merabishvili today presented his employment minister, which is a new post. “I have initiative to set up specific Employment Ministry, which will take care to solve problems of employment. A database of unemployed […]

Georgia to host UEFA Super Cup in 2015

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia will host UEFA Super Cup in August 2015. This will be the first time Georgia is host country for an UEFA event. According to the Georgian Football Federation, the decision was made in Kiev on Saturday at a session of the executive committee. […]

Field meeting in Abkhazia breaks down again

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Again, a field meeting meant to defuse tension in the conflict region Abkhazia has broken down before it even started. The meeting should have been held June 27, and was to have brought together operative leaders from the warring parties of 2008 […]

Georgia woos Circassians, gains support in North Caucasus

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian parliament on Friday approved the country’s strategy on relations with North Caucasus people. At the beginning, the strategy had status as a concept, but when it finally was passed its status had been raised and it needed a […]

Ivanishvili gathers supporters in Georgia’s old capital Mtskheta

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian opposition figure head Bidzina Ivanishvili continued his tour of the country’s regions Sunday by staging a rally in the old capital Mtskheta, 20 km north of Tbilisi. The rally started at 19:00 and saw the billionaire making new […]

Education reformer who was fired makes comeback

By | July 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An key figure in Georgia’s education reforms who was recently fired has made a comeback and launched her own consultancy to improve the education system. “We plan to provide some recommendations to the Ministry of Education and vigorously […]

Georgia’s new prime minister has a controversial past

By | July 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The goal of appointing Ivane Merabishvili, the powerful Interior Minister, to the post of Prime Minister is to solve problems in health care and agriculture – this is what Merabishvili said on Saturday, after being appointed to this post. He […]

Saakashvili’s government has lacked long term plans

By | July 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In the years from 2004 to 2011, the Georgian Parliament had ten votes of confidence for the government and approved ten government programs, although the programs changed each year and almost never followed the steps of the previous one. This […]