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Tag: Georgia

Georgia’s household debt crisis deepens in the wake of COVID-19

Georgia’s household debt crisis existed long before COVID-19 hit, but it has been exacerbated by the current pandemic. To make matters worse, the credit environment is plagued with predatory conditions and a lack of regulation which has put many of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens in a perpetual debt cycle.

Approximately 150 kilometres north of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and nestled into a valley below Mount Kazbek lies the town of Stepantsminda. Home to a population of fewer than 2,000 permanent residents, Stepantsminda has become a popular destination over the last decade and has economically benefited from Georgia’s growing tourism sector. Keti, a local woman from the Kazbegi region, joined the area’s emergent hospitality sector in 2015. She opened a hotel with the help of a loan from one of the country’s largest private banks, Bank of Georgia.

April 11, 2021 - Mackenzie Baldinger

What is really behind Ivanishvili’s decision to quit politics

The announcement earlier this year of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s departure from the political arena came at a time of domestic political unrest, and has been questioned by many in Georgia. Ivanishvili had already resigned from political life in 2013. Yet, kept ruling from behind the scenes. Will this time be any different?

On January 11th this year, Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder and chairman of Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party and the country’s most influential politician announced his retirement from politics “as party chairman, as well as from the party itself”. The 65-year-old billionaire declared his mission was accomplished, having decided to return to his “private lifestyle” and to “completely withdraw from politics and let go of the reins of power”.

April 11, 2021 - Soso Dzamukashvili

Preserving Soviet-era mosaics in Georgia

A conversation with Nini Palavandishvili, a curator and researcher involved in the process of documenting and mapping Soviet-era Mosaics in Georgia. Interviewer: Natalia Mosashvili

NATALIA MOSASHVILI: Can you say a few words about the meaning of Soviet-era mosaics and why they are often reduced to propaganda of the Soviet system?

NINI PALAVANDISHVILI: I would like to start by saying that my position is the following: of course, these mosaics were created during the Soviet times, but they are not necessarily “Soviet” mosaics. During this period mosaics were created in Mexico, America, France, Spain, Portugal, and many other places. Emphasising them as "Soviet mosaics" is not right.

April 11, 2021 - Natalia Mosashvili Nini Palavandishvili

The thieves in law

A review of The Vory: Russia's Super Mafia. By: Mark Galeotti. Publisher: Yale University Press, New Haven/London, 2018.

April 11, 2021 - Lasha Bregvadze

Ukraine should beware of the Georgian development model

When Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announced that he would seek Mikhail Saakashvili’s appointment as deputy prime minister, commentators were split. For some, Zelenskyy was displaying a serious intent to kickstart reforms by appointing a seasoned anti-corruption warrior. For others, he was simply engaging in a public relations campaign to distract attention from his limited achievements in his first year in office, especially from his controversial removal of some high profile and credible reformers from office.

March 19, 2021 - Thomas Barrett

Crisis spiral in Georgia and Moldova – commonalty, distinctions and ways out

The political crises in Georgia and Moldova can only be resolved through national dialogue. The West could help by at least remaining consistent in its messages to both partners.

March 8, 2021 - Denis Cenusa

Georgian democracy on life support

Georgia’s escalating political turbulence highlights a crisis in institutional legitimacy in the country. This democratic deficit risks dragging the country into autocratic rule and reproducing the worst elements of its northern neighbour.

March 2, 2021 - Shota Kincha

Georgia – On Europe’s mind

In an op-ed for New Eastern Europe, Pierre-Alexandre Crevaux, from the Georgian President’s office, writes that President Salome Zourabichvili’s visit to Brussels on January 21st was to send a message: pandemic or not, Georgia’s path to EU integration is unaltered.

February 8, 2021 - Pierre-Alexandre Crevaux

2020’s electoral lessons: Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine

Recent elections in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine have proven that positive democratic changes are difficult to achieve but are still very possible. Even though oligarchs retain much of their power, political newcomers, civil society and the diaspora are turning into key players shaking up the status quo.

The political transformations that occurred in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine in the second half of 2020 will have long-lasting consequences on the democratic development of these critical countries in the region. Each of them has made qualitative steps forward, leaving behind more oligarchic-centric rules of the game.

February 3, 2021 - Denis Cenusa

When institutions fail, boycott and street protests remain the only instrument

Georgian NGOs and election watchdogs have labelled the October 2020 parliamentary elections as “the least democratic and free among the elections held under the Georgian Dream government”. As a result, the united opposition parties have boycotted entering into the new parliament and protests continue on the streets of Tbilisi, calling for fresh, free and transparent elections.

Once a frontrunner in democracy in the region, Georgia now faces a crisis of democracy. What was supposed to be the country’s first predominantly proportional parliamentary elections that would strengthen representation and bring in a diverse, pluralistic parliament resulted in the opposite happening. Georgia’s 2020 parliamentary elections became known as “the least democratic and free” in the Georgian Dream’s rule by the country’s leading NGOs and election-watchdogs.

February 3, 2021 - Anastasia Mgaloblishvili

“Make Georgia great again”

The aftermath of the recent elections in Georgia has shown that it will be challenging to find a compromise in the current political environment in the country.

January 4, 2021 - Archil Sikharulidze

Pinecone: The fringe political party saving the youth from political nihilism in Georgia

Libertarian party Girchi is known on the Georgian political scene for its original approach. It appears to have a growing appeal among younger voters tired of the more mainstream parties.

December 4, 2020 - Eva Modebadze

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Agencja interaktywna: hauerpower krakow studio krakow.