Court strikes jail for weed, Abkhaz gunman convicted, National Movement split drama continues, Constitutional Commission meets, Kaladze meets RAO and Gazprom, Usupashvili mulls party says Khmalade, McCain and Graham talk NATO, Syria help, Russian military choir plane crash, PM says Janelidze speaks to chief Trump Kremlin lackey Michael Flynn, Imedi buys Maestro, Bedukadze gets show, visa free for Abkhaz and Ossets too, EU 44 mill, new central bank VPs, 15 candidates for public broadcaster chief, tiny car tax on the rich, TV manufacturer, Agrohub store for local crops, Teliani beer, Lysistrata gets gold, Iranian translation, judicial reform bill passes, free busses on new years

One thought on “TBLPOD29dec2016

  1. The MEME this week is a short video prepared for the European Commission by Tbilisi native Ernest Petrosyan. He teaches us the meaning of shemomechama, a Georgian word that most foreigners don’t know but one that is really relevant, especially during a supra.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hR80kG


    South Caucasus expert Dennis Sammut recaps the region’s political year in 2016. He’s optimistic, saying all three countries effectively weathered difficult domestic and international circumstances, and incumbent political leaders all made it to 2017 still in office. However, 2017 will bring more challenges, especially in the economic sphere.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2htdLUz

    Giorgi Lomsadze writes for EurasiaNet about a planned act of civil disobedience by New Political Center-Girchi, a political party that, among other things, is pushing for the relaxation of laws that punish recreational drug users. Members of the party are inviting citizens to join them in planting a bunch of marijuana plants in Tbilisi just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, and they plan to do it on live television. Group cultivation of plants carries a 6-12 year prison sentence, and the authorities say they won’t be lenient.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iJ8GZq

    Michael Cecire also writes for EurasiaNet about the possibility that US interest in the South Caucasus will decline under the Trump administration, speculating that Trump’s decision to pull out of Trump Tower licensing deals in Batumi and Baku could be a sign of bigger things to come. This is especially pressing for Georgia, which is most dependent on US support.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hR8es2

    For those of us who are confused about the government’s policies to prop up the lari, Jam News has a good explainer covering the causes of the lari’s poor performance as well as the policies designed to counter it. Lower interest rates and weak foreign direct investments hurt the national currency. The government wants to nurse it back to health by converting dollar loans into lari and raising excise taxes on certain import goods, which could increase demand for lari.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2ht7RCQ

    The site Big Think profiles Alexander Dugin, the Russian philosopher who’s the brains behind Eurasianism, the current Kremlin ideology which says all the peoples of the former Russian Empire have a close cultural affinity that makes them unique and incompatible with Western political norms, so they belong together in a single Eurasian–read Russian–state.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2hsWNFS

    Leonid Bershidsky writes in Bloomberg View about Vladimir Putin’s geopolitical successes in 2016 and his outlook for 2017. Russia’s economic situation is likely to get worse, Donald Trump may be a bigger headache than many expect, and with the exception of France, pro-Russian politicians aren’t doing very well in Europe. In Bershidsky’s view, Putin’s luck is going to run out, and soon.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2ii4ocy

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