Monthly Archives: June 2014

Tbilisi’s ex-mayor accused of embezzlement involving parking fees

By | June 30th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Gigi Ugulava called the new charges absurd. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The former mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, was Monday charged with embezzlement involving the city’s parking company. In a statement the Finance Ministry’s investigative service says the company CT Park Ltd, which hires parking […]

Government cuts duration of administrative detention

By | June 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

The government coalition wants to reduce the term of administrative detention. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government coalition in Georgia has proposed to reduce the maximum duration of administrative detention from 90 to 15 days. In 2012, it wanted to end the practice. Administrative detention is a form of harsh punishment left over from […]

Georgia improves on global retail index

By | June 30th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has improved its position on the Global Retail Development Index, a list of the most prospective countries for investing in retail trade. Georgia has climbed one place and is now number seven among 30 developing countries. […]

Repeat elections held in Georgia

By | June 30th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

Repeat elections were held at fourteen precincts on Sunday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia conducted repeat elections at fourteen precincts on Sunday. The government coalition won in eight precincts, while the National Movement won at two precincts. Other parties’ candidates and independents won in the rest of the precincts. […]

Jehova’s Witnesses still under pressure in Georgia

By | June 29th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Jehova’s Witnesses praying in Khobi, Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Jehovah’s Witnesses in Georgia continue to be under pressure as another community denies the establishment of a prayer house. This time, it is locals in Terjola, a town in Imereti, western Georgia, who refuse to allow another community […]

Georgians celebrated becoming ‘part of a big family’

By | June 28th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Georgians celebrated the new agreement with the EU until late night Friday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–On June 27, Georgia became part of a big family, President Margvelashvili said at a concert in Tbilisi to celebrate the event. The concert took place at Europe Square near the presidential palace and was to celebrate the signing […]

Lavrov’s threat of trade measures met with calm in Tbilisi

By | June 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that Russia might take measures against the EU’s new free trade area on its doorstep. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A threat by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that Russia may take protective measures against the EU’s new free trade area on its doorstep are not being taken seriously by an analyst DF Watch spoke to. By signing the association agreement […]

New treaty between EU and Georgia finally signed

By | June 27th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

From left to right, Petro Poroshenko (seated), Jose Manuel Barroso, Herman Van Rompuy and Irakli Gharibashvili. (Photo published by Gharinashvili.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia on Friday signed the Association Agreement with the EU in Brussels. The 1,135 page document was signed by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, EU Council President Herman van Rompuy, EU Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, and heads of state of all EU’s 28 members. […]

Georgian former paramilitary detained in Azerbaijan

By | June 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The Prosecutor’s Office in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former employee of the paramilitary organization Mkhedrioni who was wanted for four murders was Thursday detained in Azerbaijan, in a joint operation between Georgian and Azerbaijani prosecutors. The detained woman, […]

Georgia signs association agreement with the EU

By | June 27th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia today signs the association agreement with the EU at 09:00 in Brussels. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and the rest of the Georgian delegation arrived on Thursday. At Place du Luxembourg, Georgians have gathered together with […]

Georgia holds national exams

By | June 26th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , |

National exams began all over Georgia on Thursday. TBILISI, DFWatch–National exams started Thursday morning all over Georgia, on three different levels of education. About 36,000 school graduates will take exams from June 26 until July 16, while 4,500 students will try to pass an ability test which will improve […]

Workers protest bad drinking water at ferroalloy plant

By | June 26th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Workers at the Ferro factory in Zestaponi protested against bad drinking water Wednesday. Coliform bacteria have been found in the water. (Photo published by TBILISI, DFWatch–Tens of workers at the ferro-alloy plant in Zestaponi went on strike on Wednesday to protest the quality of drinking water at the plant. As DF Watch previously reported, workers at the plant are dissatisfied with their working conditions. […]

NATO will not offer Georgia a membership plan this year

By | June 26th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: |

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze (left) and NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. (Photo published by NATO.) TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO will not offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at a summit in Wales in September, the alliance’s secretary general said on Wednesday. “The Summit in Wales will not be about a Membership Action Plan; but about more support […]

Tbilisi mayor withdraws court case

By | June 26th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Tbilisi mayor who was removed from office has called off his lawsuit to get back his job, calling the whole justice system ridiculous. Gigi Ugulava, who was elected mayor of Tbilisi in 2010, at a time when most of the international community […]

Rebellion against oil company in Georgian village

By | June 25th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , , , |

People blocked the road for employees of Canargo Georgia which is exploring for oil in Sagarejo. They don’t want to lose their water supply. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Locals have rebelled against an oil company that wants to search for oil in an eastern Georgian town. People fear that they may lose their water supply. On Wednesday, they blocked the road for employees of Canargo Georgia and didn’t let […]

Georgia ends moratorium on foreigners buying agricultural land

By | June 25th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The moratorium on foreigners buying agricultural land in Georgia has been lifted. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Foreigners will be again able to purchase agricultural lands in Georgia unhindered. This follows from a decision by Georgia’s Constitutional Commission which means that the Constitutional Court abolishes the moratorium on foreign citizens […]

Georgia plans concert to celebrate new EU treaty

By | June 25th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia plans to hold a big outdoors concert in the capital to celebrate the signing of a treaty with the European Union on June 27. Georgian singers from Europe and from Georgia will perform at the concert, which will also feature […]

Georgia and Russia to hold trade talks

By | June 24th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Wine export is one of the trade issues between Georgia and Russia. TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia and Russia plan to hold a meeting of experts on trade and economic issues. The meeting will also deal with Georgia’s signing of a new treaty with the European Union about reforms and free trade. On the agenda is two treaties that Georgia […]

South Ossetia parliament to discuss joining Russia

By | June 24th, 2014|Categories: Caucasus region, News|Tags: |

Tskhinvali, the capital of the Georgian breakaway region South Ossetia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto parliament in South Ossetia plans to start discussing the issue of joining Russia. It was the parliament’s speaker who said this on Monday, as quoted by Itar-Tass. “We do not renounce our slogans, there will be no two-pronged […]

Campaign finance watchdog wants to fine the government

By | June 24th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

The Audit Office. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The public watchdog overseeing the financial activity of political parties in Georgia claims that the government coalition has received an illegal donation of GEL 40,000 (USD 22,500). The Financial Monitoring Service of the Georgian […]

Russian experts in Georgia to inspect produce

By | June 23rd, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

Georgian agricultural products are being scrutinized by Russian phytosanitary experts. (Photo published by the Ministry of Agriculture.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A group of four experts from Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, Rosselkhoznadzor, Monday arrived in Georgia to examine the quality of fruit and other products that are exported to the Russian market. The […]

Georgian president will not attend signing of EU treaty

By | June 23rd, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili will not be present during the signing of a treaty between Georgia and the EU in Brussels on Friday. TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president, whose authority includes signing international treaties and who delegated the right to sign the Association Agreement with EU to the prime minister, won’t be in the Georgian delegation. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze […]

Language exams prepare Azeri-Georgian youth for university

By | June 23rd, 2014|Categories: Minorities, Youth|Tags: , , , , |

Youth in the predominantly ethnic Azeri town Marneuli can take a one year course in Georgian language to prepare them for university. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tural is a 19 years old high school graduate who plans to go on to university and study IT. The problem is, the teaching language at university is Georgian, which he doesn’t know well enough. Like many of his peers, Tiral chose to study […]

National Movement activist beaten in Batumi

By | June 22nd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Levan Tetemadze was taken to the hospital and treated for head injuries and broken facial bones. (Photo published on Facebook by the National Movement in Batumi.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of the National Movement was Saturday attacked in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea coast. Party activist Levan Tetemadze was beaten outside his house on Vazha-Pshavela street, according to Giorgi Kirtadze, head of the UNM in Adjara. […]

The missing page in the Association Agreements

By | June 22nd, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , |

Why was child protection left out the EU’s agreement with Georgia? the authors ask. On June 27, Georgia and Moldova will sign in Brussels the Association Agreements with the European Union that were initialed last year in Vilnius (Ukraine’s new authorities are expected to sign only the economic part of the Agreements on the same day). After a high level meeting that took place last month between president […]

Russia might intervene in Ukraine if major violence

By | June 21st, 2014|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

Professor Johan Galtung is a sociologist, mathematician and the founder of peace and conflict studies. TBILISI, DFWatch–Right now we have a civil war in Ukraine, says peace researcher Johan Galtung. He warns that Russia might intervene with a ‘short sharp shock’ if ethnic Russians are subject to widespread violence in eastern Ukraine. Russia is deploying troops […]

Rikoti tunnel reopened for traffic

By | June 21st, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Traffic resumed through Rikoti tunnel Friday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Rikoti tunnel was reopened for traffic on Friday. It is part of the road which connects the eastern and western parts of Georgia and had been blocked for several days due to a landslide. The landslide was the second one in ten days. According […]

National Movement implicated in election fraud video

By | June 21st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

What happened at two precincts in the town Marneuli on election day has become a major criminal case. (The persons in this photo are unrelated to the case.) (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Ministry of Interior on Friday charged 13 persons with having engaged in election fraud at two precincts in the south of Georgia in the local election on June 15. The precincts lie in the town Marneuli, 30 km south of Tbilisi. The ministry […]

Georgia repeat elections will be on June 29

By | June 20th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

In a few places, people will be asked to vote again on June 29 because the elections results were canceled. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Repeat elections will be held June 29 at seven precincts because results there were canceled, Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) announced. Among the precincts which will hold another first round in the local elections two are in Marneuli, […]

Russia invites Georgia to establish diplomatic relations

By | June 20th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Gregory Karasin, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia thinks Georgia should take the first steps toward restoring diplomatic relations, but Georgia answers that restoring diplomatic relations with Russia is not on the agenda right now. Gregory Karasin, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, […]

South Ossetia recognizes Lugansk breakaway republic

By | June 20th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto South Ossetian government on June 18 recognized the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic. The Lugansk republic, comprising a land area in the southeast of Ukraine, was established on April 27 after a referendum held on May 11. […]

Results canceled at two precincts after video shows fraud

By | June 19th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

The government coalition claims a video published by National Movement which appears to show election fraud was staged. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Election results at two Georgian precincts were canceled Tuesday, as a result of a controversial video published by the National Movement party, which lost the local election in that area. The video is made by the organization Free Zone, which […]

Georgia improves its position on Global Peace Index

By | June 19th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Georgia climbed 28 places on the Global Peace Index 2014. (Click on image to visit the report web site.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia has improved its standing on the latest Global Peace Index by 28 places and is now 111 among 162 countries. The index, which was published Thursday by the Institute for Economics and Peace, gave Georgia 2.22 points. It says Georgia […]

Georgian wins European junior wrestling championship

By | June 19th, 2014|Categories: News, Sport, Youth|Tags: , , |

Tarzan Maisuradze won the European junior wrestling championship in Katowice. (Photo by Sport Zone.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian wrestler Tarzan Maisuradze on Tuesday won the European junior wrestling championships in Katowice, Poland. Maisuradze won in Men’s Junior Freestyle 74 kg, defeating Konstantin Gkontsis from Greece, Murat Erturk from Turkey, […]

Georgia’s PM claims more power from the president

By | June 19th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia wants to take away one more power from the president: the right to award two top awards. The awards in question are the Shota Rustaveli award and the National awards of Georgia. The government wants to give […]

Music festival KaZantip defends against splinter group

By | June 18th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , , , , |

Photo published by the Anaklia organizing group. TBILISI, DFWatch–The Republic of KaZantip, until now residing in Crimea, seems to be experiencing its own share of separatism, but it’s hard to figure out who is breaking away from whom. Perhaps it is more fitting to call the music festival uprooted […]

Hate crime vs hooliganism

By | June 18th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , |

Sarah Delys is a criminologist working for Human Rights Education and Monitoring Centre in Tbilisi. Last month marked the one-year anniversary of the LGBT rally which turned violent in Tbilisi. The tense situation in the country in the run-up to the International Day Against Homophobia made activists resolve to a silent protest [1] this year. A few days […]

One man dies of electrocution at metal plant in Georgia

By | June 18th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The metal plant in Rustavi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–One man died from electrocution on Tuesday at the steelworks part of a smelter plant in Rustavi, near Tbilisi. Nukri Kimadze, 29, was taken to the hospital, but he died soon after arrival. Workers at the plant of Rustavi, a town 20 km south […]

Another landslide blocks main east-west road in Georgia

By | June 18th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

Clean-up work is ongoing in Rikoti pass after a second landslide blocked the road again. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Another landslide Tuesday blocked the main road that connects western and eastern Georgia. The first landslide damaged the road through Rikoti Pass on June 12, but the pass was cleaned and reopened after a few days. Tuesday morning […]

Georgians waiting to see what the EU treaty will bring

By | June 17th, 2014|Categories: Background, News|Tags: |

Socially vulnerable are in difficult situation in Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Technical preparations for Georgia and Moldova signing free trade treaties with the European Union ended Monday. As ten days are left until the signing, there is little debate among ordinary Georgians about what the treaty will really mean to […]

One more dead body found in Dariali

By | June 17th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Cleanup work continues in Dariali Valley. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Another body was found in Dariali Valley on Monday, the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced. This is the fourth victim of a massive landslide on May 17. The ministry said the body has been sent to Tbilisi to carry out an […]

Georgia’s foreign trade up 16% Jan-May ’14

By | June 17th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

Georgia’s foreign trade continues to grow. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in the first five months of 2014 was USD 4,498 million. This is 16 percent more than in the same period last year, according to preliminary figures published on Monday by the Georgian National Statistics Office, Geostat. […]

Election update after 98% of votes have been counted

By | June 17th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili voting in Ozurgeti on Sunday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government coalition had a strong showing in the local election, though not as strong as in the previous two national elections. In the capital Tbilisi, the coalition’s candidate for mayor, Davit Narmania, received 46.12 percent, […]

Patriarch meets U.S. Evangelicals regarding festival

By | June 16th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Patriarch Ilia II. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Patriarch Ilia II has met with Viktor Gamm, vice president of Billy Graham Evangelical Association which faced some hurdles when it organized Festival of Hope in Tbilisi. The patriarch expressed his sorrow about the way the organizers […]

Georgian politician who withdrew candidacy wins election by 52%

By | June 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Pulled out, but won. Merab Topchishvili received 52% of the votes in Marneuli and will become head of municipality. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A Georgian politician who withdrew his candidacy one day before Sunday’s local election seems to have won by an absolute majority. Merab Topchishvili and the Georgian Dream coalition each held press conferences last week to announce his […]

Abkhazia’s interim rulers plan to block Georgians from voting

By | June 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Raul Khajimba. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The new de facto rulers of Abkhazia are preparing to prevent Georgians with dual citizenship from voting in the election planned for August 24. “25-26 thousand people are not eligible to vote in the […]

Celebratory mood after Georgia’s local election

By | June 16th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili (left) and candidate for Tbilisi mayor Davit Narmania, celebrated Sunday night. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Both the ruling Georgian Dream coalition and the National Movement celebrated the results of exit polls from Sunday’s local election. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili congratulated candidate for Tbilisi mayor Davit Narmania on his victory, […]

Preliminary results: Government coalition 55%, UNM 20%

By | June 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

55 percent voted for the governing Georgian Dream coalition, 20 percent for the National Movement, based on results from 468 out of 3,637 precincts in the country. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Dream gets 55.45 percent of the votes in all of Georgia, UNM  20.19 percent while Burjanadze’s coalition received 9.8 percent of the votes counted in 468 out of 3,637 precincts in the country. In Tbilisi, preliminary figures […]

Mother claims daughter discriminated against by priest

By | June 16th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Levon Isakhanyan (left) and Inna Sukiasyan. TBILISI, DFWatch–A mother claims a priest forced her daughter to leave a church a few days ago because of her ethnicity. The priest denied this. Inna Sukiasyan, who is of Armenian origins, last week wrote on her Facebook page and later told journalists that […]

Observers say violations do not affect election outcome

By | June 15th, 2014|Categories: NGO news|Tags: |

Kakha Kozhoridze, head of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Independent observers in Georgia’s local election say the extent of violations seen so far is not enough to influence the final results. Two hours before voting ended in Georgia’s local election on Sunday, non-governmental organizations had filed 71 […]

Exit poll: second round may be needed in Tbilisi

By | June 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

One of the exit polls shows that there will be second round of the election for Tbilisi mayor, but another exit poll gives Georgian Dream a direct win. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–An exit poll conducted by Rustavi 2 indicates that a second round might be necessary in Tbilisi. If the exit poll is correct, the candidate for the ruling Georgian Dream coalition will get 46.3 percent of votes, UNM candidate gets 27 percent of […]

Footballer-minister Kaladze accused of election violation

By | June 15th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

Energy Minister Kakhi Kaladze denied having violated election laws. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A government spokesperson in Georgia defended himself Sunday against criticism from an opposition politician for standing in front of a political banner during a press conference on election day. Energy Minister and Vice Prime Minister Kakhi Kaladze […]

What you need to know about Georgia’s local election

By | June 15th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

Today’s election marks a significant expansion of local democracy in Georgia. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Sunday’s election in Georgia marks a significant expansion of local democracy in the country. Voters are electing twelve new mayors, 59 gamgebelis, or heads of municipalities, and about 2,500 members of 71 local councils. 16,190 registered […]

Voting goes smoothly in Georgia’s local election

By | June 15th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

“I call on every politician to make today a victory for democracy,” said President Giorgi Margvelashvili after casting his vote in Tbilisi. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch-Voting went smoothly Sunday in Georgia’s local election. 517,123 people had voted by noon, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC). This is 16 percent of registered voters. ISFED said 98.7% of precincts were ready to receive voters […]

Two of Georgian president’s top people left

By | June 14th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , , |

Vano Machavariani, foreign policy adviser to the Georgian president, left his job Friday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president’s foreign policy adviser Vano Machavariani left his job on Friday. The head of the president’s administration, Lasha Abashidze, also resigned. Both delivered a written resignation, but Machavariani told […]

561 foreign observers for Georgia’s local election

By | June 14th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

Tamar Zhvania, head of Georgia’s Central Election Commission. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There will be 32 international and 59 Georgian organizations observing the local election on Sunday, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC). The CEC said the number of representatives of Georgian organizations […]

Government’s candidate in Marneuli confirms withdrawal

By | June 14th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

Merab Topchishvili confirmed that he is withdrawing as candidate for gamgebeli in Marneuli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A candidate for Georgia’s governing coalition in a town south of the capital has announced that he is withdrawing from tomorrow’s local election. The coalition earlier said he would withdraw. Merab Topchishvili was Georgian Dream’s candidate […]

16 Georgians captured by Iraqi insurgents

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

From a rebellion in Mosul in April, 2013. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A United Nations spokesperson said Friday that 16 Georgians had been captured by Islamist insurgents in Iraq. Georgian authorities would not confirm the report. It was first reported by Reuters that insurgents in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria […]

Court faults Georgia’s lifting of mine’s protected status

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

Sakdrisi gold mine. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Friday canceled a decision by the Culture Ministry to remove the protected area status of Sakdrisi, an ancient gold mine which archaeologists say has more than 5,400 years old traces of humans. The court’s decision means […]

Barroso: Georgia doesn’t have to choose between East and West

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: Europe, News|Tags: , |

President of the EU Commission, José Manuel Barroso (left), and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso Thursday arrived in Georgia on the second leg of his visit to countries on Russia’s southwestern perimeter. Barroso said the Association Agreement Georgia is to sign on June 27 is not ‘exclusive’, […]

Government coalition withdraws its candidate in Marneuli

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , , |

Georgian Dream has withdrawn Merab Topchishvili (pictured) from the election for gamgebeli in Marneuli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Dream coalition on Thursday withdrew its candidate for gamgebeli in Marneuli in Sunday’s local election, explaining that it was necessary in order to avoid making it into a purely ethnic vote. The National Movement is running with an […]

National Movement under investigation for faking persecution

By | June 13th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani has asked Prosecutor’s Office to investigate whether the National Movement’s candidates are pretending to be under pressure. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party is under investigation for pretending to be victim of political persecution.  Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani has asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate whether the National Movement […]

Russian given 12 years for Batumi shooting

By | June 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Batumi City Court. (Official photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Batumi City Court on Wednesday sentenced a man to 12 years in jail, who is suspected of murdering a Russian diplomat and his wife in Abkhazia last year. Yusuf Lakayev, an ethnic Chechen, was charged with illegally crossing the border, illegally […]

Barroso visits Georgia to underline EU’s support

By | June 12th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. (Photo published by the EU.) TBILISI, DFWatch–José Manuel Barroso will visit Georgia Thursday and Friday. The two day stopover will be the EU Commission president’s first official visit to Georgia. Barroso is arriving from Moldova, and will leave for Azerbaijan on June 14. During […]

One more brutal murder case from 2008 reopened

By | June 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Nino Giorgobiani, spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A few days before the local elections, the Interior Ministry in Georgia has gone public with details of yet one more crime conducted by Saakashvili’s government in which opponents were treated with a brutality reminiscent of Scorsese movies. […]

Family of murdered ranger demonstrate outside UNM office

By | June 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The family of murdered ranger Davit Tsendeliani demonstrated outside the National Movement party office on Wednesday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The family of a forest ranger who was killed in 2008 demonstrated in Zugdidi Wednesday. Ranger Davit Tsindeliani is still formally missing, but is believed to have been killed in August 2008, after the war between Russia and Georgia. His family […]

Saakashvili ridicules OSCE envoy

By | June 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. ( TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has ridiculed the appointment of Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini as OSCE special representative to Ukraine. In an interview with Ukrainian TV channel TSN on Tuesday, Saakashvili said that […]

Audit Office wants to fine three political parties

By | June 11th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

The Audit Office monitors the financial activities of political parties. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The State Audit Office wants to fine the political parties Alliance of Georgia’s Patriots, Conservative Party and Georgia’s Way. The body which monitors the financial activity of political parties claims that Alliance of Georgia’s Patriots didn’t declare donations […]

Workers rally outside clinic treating burnt miners

By | June 11th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The workers want back the Labor Inspection to ensure a safer workplace environment. (Photo published by GTUC on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Trade Union demonstrated outside a hospital in Tbilisi on Tuesday to show solidarity with workers who were burnt in a fire in a coal mine the day before. Two of the injured workers after the fire in a Tkibuli coal mine are still in a difficult […]

South Ossetia election raises specter of ‘Crimean scenario’

By | June 11th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Spokesperson for Georgia’s Foreign Ministry, Davit Zalkaniani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The parliamentary election in South Ossetia Sunday was soundly won by a political bloc which wants the breakaway region to join the Russian Federation. The party Edinaya Ossetia, or United Ossetia, has union with Russia as a […]

Tbilisi court restores UNM’s candidate in Marneuli

By | June 10th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , |

The Central Election Commission has damaged its reputation, says National Movement activist Giga Bokeria. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court on Tuesday restored a National Movement candidate’s right to run in the June 15 local election. Akmamed Imamkuliev was launched as the UNM’s candidate for gamgebeli in Marneuli, a town in southern Georgia. But June 5, […]

Foreign investments Georgia was USD 260 million in Q1

By | June 10th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

Poti port. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Direct foreign investment in Georgia in the first quarter of 2014 was USD 260 million, according to preliminary data from National Statistics Office, Geostat. The preliminary data published on Tuesday show that the amount of investments in the […]

Emergence of entrepreneurship in Georgia

By | June 10th, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

Irina Guruli is Program Manager at the Economic Policy Research Center. Georgia’s economy is made of two components: the so-called formal sector and the “unobserved” part. In the observed part of Georgian economy, 96 percent of all registered firms are small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs). However, there are many registered firms […]

Seven injured in Georgian coal mine fire

By | June 10th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Coal dust caught fire in the Mindeli Mine in Tkibuli, a town in western Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Seven people were injured in a fire in a coal mine in Tkibuli on Monday. Two of them are seriously injured. According to Tamaz Dolaberidze, head of the Metallurgy and Mining Industry Worker’s Trade Unions, coal caught fire at about 18:00 on Monday […]

CEC upholds rejection of UNM candidate in Marneuli

By | June 10th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Akmamed Imamkuliev. (Screen grab from Maestro TV.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Central Election Commission (CEC) in Georgia has canceled the registration of a National Movement candidate for gamgebeli of Marneuli in the June 15 local elections. CEC explained that the candidate didn’t comply with the requirements of the […]

Saakashvili offers to help Georgian government

By | June 9th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former President Mikheil Saakashvili continues to offer his assistance. On Sunday, after instructing Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, to under no circumstance weaken the military operation against pro-Moscow separatists in the east, […]

Biden announces new USD 5 million aid package to Georgia

By | June 9th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili in Ukraine June 7, 2014. (Photo published by the Georgian president’s press office.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The United States allocates USD five million in assistance to Georgia, specifically people affected by the so-called borderization at the administrative boundary lines around the breakaway regions. US Vice President Joe Biden announced the assistance […]

Georgia to cut troop numbers in Afghanistan to 700

By | June 9th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgian soldiers preparing to leave for Afghanistan in March, 2013. (Ministry of Defense.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is reducing its number of troops in Afghanistan from January 1, 2015, to 700, Mindia Janelidze, Chairman of the Council for State Security and Crisis Management (CSSCM), announced Sunday. Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who participated […]

One man dies in accident at Zestaponi metal plant

By | June 9th, 2014|Categories: Society|Tags: , |

Workers at the Ferro plant in Zestaponi say conditions are still hazardous. One man died from electric shock last Tuesday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A 50-year old man died last Tuesday night at the ferroalloy plant in Zestaponi as he was hit by a high voltage electric shock. Mamuka Nebieridze died on the spot in the June 3 accident. An investigation has been launched in order to determine whether […]

New investigation into brutal 2008 murder in Georgia

By | June 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

The Ministry of Internal Affairs main office in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Ministry of Internal Affairs has opened an investigation into the 2008 disappearance and murder of Paata Kardava, an intelligence officer at the Ministry of Defense. The investigation centers on Roman Shamatava, former head of the Constitutional Security […]

Orthodox activists protest evangelical event in Tbilisi

By | June 7th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

Giorgi Gabedava, candidate for Tbilisi City Council. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A group of Orthodox Christian activists protest against the international evangelistic Festival of Hope to be held in Georgia and call on people not to attend. Clerics and their supporters gathered at a church in Didube, the district of Tbilisi where […]

Dariali Valley evacuated after landslide alert

By | June 7th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , , |

Clean-up work was resumed in Dariali Valley Saturday after a brief evacuation. (TV1.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Clean-up work in Dariali Valley in northern Georgia was resumed on Saturday, a day after  workers were evacuated due to a risk of a new landslide. Seismologists registered microquakes in Devdoraki glacier, which the government’s experts said was the direct […]

Mayor breaks into district election office, swears at official

By | June 6th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , , , |

Suspended Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava and other National Movement members accuse a district election official of being partial. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Suspended Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava Thursday broke into a district election commission office in Marneuli and swore at the local official in charge. It’s the latest in a series of incidents involving the party, as Georgia gets closed to the local […]

Calls to restore heritage status for Sakdrisi mine

By | June 6th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

Demonstrators want the area’s heritage status to be restored. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A rally was held Thursday to demand the restoration of protected area status for the old Sakdrisi mine in southern Georgia. The rally took place outside the National Cultural Heritage Protection Agency in Tbilisi and was organized by environmental […]

Georgia doesn’t know what Obama’s military assistance means

By | June 6th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

“A historical moment for our country’s relation with NATO,” says Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government is unable to say specifically what Barack Obama’s initiative to boost the military capacity of non-NATO partner countries will mean and how the US will assist Georgia, but they welcome the initiative. Georgia’s defense […]

Rasmussen stops short of promising Georgia MAP

By | June 5th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: |

Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania (left) and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (Photo published on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen promises that Georgia’s progress will be assessed at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales, but stops short of saying what the outcome might be. Many Georgians had reckoned that their country would […]

30,000 conservatives demand anti-discrimination law changed

By | June 5th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: |

Conservative Orthodox Christians in Georgia have gathered 30,000 signatures to remove a phrase in a new law which specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–30 000 people in Georgia have signed a document demanding changes in a newly adopted anti-discrimination law. The Union of Genus Leaders has been gathering signatures since May 17, International Day Against Homophobia, and asked […]

Merkel to visit Georgia

By | June 5th, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Georgian PM Irakli Gharibashvili (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (Photo published on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Georgia before spring 2015, by invitation of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. The PM on Monday met Merkel in Berlin and invited her to Georgia. She accepted the invitation and expressed her desire […]

Georgian PM expects ‘adequate assessment’ of his efforts

By | June 4th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , , , |

Tbilisi, Dfwatch – Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili hopes that a progress done by Georgia will be ‘adequately assessed’ on the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales, but he also thinks it is not advisable to speak of this issue in advance, as it raises false expectations among his fellow counterparts. […]

Heavy rains hit Georgia, a man drowned near Borjomi

By | June 4th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|

(TV9) Tbilisi, DFWatch – A 25-year-old man has drowned in a river Sakirula, near resort town Borjomi, in southern Georgia on Tuesday after heavy rains caused floods across the area. Murman Lomsadze has virtually been washed away from his own yard and drowned […]

Georgia’s wine export is booming

By | June 4th, 2014|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

Wine export grew 147 percent in the first five months of 2014, compared to the year before. TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia increased its export of wine by 147 percent in the first five months of 2014, compared to last year. 22,779,153 bottles of wine was exported to 32 countries worldwide, which amounted to USD 73,795,849. Revenues from wine export in January […]

Court temporarily bans mining in Sakdrisi

By | June 4th, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

Sakdrisi mining site. (Photo taken by Green Fist.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Tbilisi City Court has suspended a decree by the Ministry of Culture that gave a green light to begin mining at the site of an alleged ancient gold mine in south east Georgia. RMG Gold, a gold mining company that was prohibited from carrying on work in Sakdrisi, […]

Georgia’s economic growth and budgetary indicators

By | June 3rd, 2014|Categories: Opinion|Tags: |

Nino Evgenidze is Executive Director of the Economic Policy Research Center. In comparison with 2013, current year began with better economic indicators. In particular, high growth rate was observed in January, February and March – with 7,4 percent quarter average. However, April saw a decrease to 2,7 percent. One of the factors that ensured […]

Temporary road to be opened in Dariali

By | June 3rd, 2014|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

Clean-up work is progressing 24 hours a day, and a new temporary road will be opened in a few days. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For over two weeks, the only road through the Caucasus mountain range has been closed due to a massive landslide May 17. Now, Georgian authorities say a new temporary road will be opened in few days, after intense work to dig a new path […]

Georgia to change its policy toward softer drugs

By | June 3rd, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: |

Demonstrators, mostly youth, demanded decriminalization of marijuana yesterday. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Hundreds of people, mostly youth, gathered Monday outside the government office in Tbilisi to demand decriminalization of marijuana. The rally started at 18:00 in the evening. There were no speeches or appeals. People were dressed in green colors […]

Swiss President Burkhalter visiting Georgia

By | June 3rd, 2014|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: , |

Didier Burkhalter arriving at Tbilisi airport Monday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Swiss President Didier Burkhalter arrived in Georgia Monday evening as part of a round trip in the South Caucasus. Lasha Abashidze, head of Georgia’s Presidential Administration, and Davit Zalkaliani, First Deputy Foreign Minister, met him […]

Merkel: NATO not to offer Georgia MAP in September

By | June 2nd, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , , |

German Chancellor Angela Merkal and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Photo published on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–German Chancellor Angela Merkel says NATO will not offer Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the upcoming summit in Wales in September. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Monday met Merkel during a visit to Germany. At a joint […]

Gardabani street fight was ethnic, local says

By | June 2nd, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

A local says the violence in Gardabani had an ethnic background and may be repeated if the responsible are not held to account. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A recent street fight last week in the eastern Georgian town Gardabani appears to have background in ethnic tensions. Some fear there may be more violence if the responsible are not held to account. Wednesday night’s streets clashes in Gardabani, […]

Abkhazian leader resigns

By | June 2nd, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Alexander Ankvab. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The leader of the Georgian breakaway region Abkhazia,  Alexander Ankvab, resigned on Sunday. Ankvab said he resigned in order to ‘maintain the stability of the country’, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass. “In accordance with […]

Parties in Georgia don’t pay enough attention to youth

By | June 2nd, 2014|Categories: Politics, Youth|Tags: , , , |

Tako Kakabadze (left), Ako Goguadze and David Uchadze. (Click to watch video.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three youth politicians told DF Watch in a recent discussion that political parties in Georgia do not pay much attention to youth problems. On May 31, Tako Kakabadze from New Rightists Party’s youth wing, Ako Goguadze from the youth wing of the […]

Demonstration in Tbilisi for decriminalization of marijuana

By | June 1st, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , |

‘End the brutal drug policy’. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Mostly young demonstrators marched through Tbilisi on Saturday, against what they see as a too tough drug policy. Their slogan, ‘Beka is not a criminal’, is in support of a man who may be sentenced to up to 14 years in jail for possession […]