National Movement finally splits, EU parliament committee voted for visa lib, everybody ticked off at Gazprom deal, State Sec Kerry quick stop, Spain trip, Davos, Tibilov talks crap and SO election 9 April, Usupashvil will start new party oh great, Igor Giorgadzes knickers in a twist, Turkmen oil back, EBRD funds Sadakhlo bridge, imports up 28 percent, remittence numbers, real estate sales up, Chinese buying Poti port from Arabs, Kuwait in Ajara, China wine deal, Batumi Subway, Racha strip works, Zestaponi wind farm coming, childrens hospice, Wekua at Gladstone, femicide bill, NDI numbers, Misha on R2, wool numbers down, lots of Georgia stuff in London

One thought on “TBLPOD19jan2017

  1. The MEME this week is a picture of a street dog in Turkey, which has gotten lots of shares among Georgians on social media. This particular dog has a pretty nice set-up for the cold winter months.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUyogs


    The National Democratic Institute publishes the results of its November 2016 public opinion poll, which was conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centers and focused on the recent elections. Forty percent of respondents said that Otsneba was the party closest to them, even though only 24 percent of eligible voters cast votes for them in the Parliamentary elections. Ten percent said UNM, fewer than the 14 percent who voted for them. The biggest discrepancy is the 74 percent of respondents who said they voted in the parliamentary elections. Official turnout was 51.63 percent. PAUSE The other portion of the National Democratic Institute poll is devoted to attitudes toward a broad range of issues. Sixty-one percent said they approve of the government’s goal of joining NATO, down seven percentage points from June.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUFykZ

    The Clarion publishes a partner post from the Caucasus Research Resource Centers, authored by former Senior Researcher Natia Mestvirishvili. She addresses public skepticism of survey results, reminding us that public opinion surveys report on perceptions of reality, not reality itself, so criticism of results are often misguided. She welcomes constructive criticism and suggestions for improving methodology, but says that most criticism comes from people who don’t understand methodology and are upset because the results don’t confirm their pre-existing opinions.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUJBxB

    Tom De Waal writes for Carnegie Europe about the EU’s policy of engagement without recognition of separatist territories, including Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The EU has been especially successful in Abkhazia, where it has helped the region maintain some connections with the outside world, and gives the EU and Georgia some leverage vis-a-vis Russia. South Ossetia, by contrast, has resisted any interaction with foreign countries, save for Russia.
    Link: http://ceip.org/2iUws7M

    The financial technology website Cointelegraph has an article on the bitcoin company Bitfury, which is increasing its presence in Georgia. Bitfury will partner with the government to implement a new Blockchain project this year. Blockchain is an encrypted online network that the government will use to store real estate documents and data.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUwRH6

    DF Watch publishes photos from Sunday prayers at the Orta Jame mosque in Batumi. The city’s Muslim community has been lobbying for decades to get permission to build a second mosque for its large number of believers, but so far haven’t had any success.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUFp0F

    Misha is interviewed on the Rustavi2 program The Choice. He talks about the recent breakup of the National Movement, blaming it on the shadowy influence of Bidzina, who he calls a Kremlin-ordained oligarch. He also says that Georgia needs new ideas to counter Bidzina’s influence, that money, power, or lies won’t be enough.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUP1Zh

    Former British Ambassador to Georgia Alexandra Hall Hall writes an Op-Ed for the Atlantic Council. She addresses concerns that Donald Trump will strike a grand bargain with Vladimir Putin at the expense of Georgia and Ukraine. Fortunately, cabinet nominees James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, and Mike Flynn all took tougher stances on Russia during confirmation hearings.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUDVn9

    Lincoln Mitchell devotes his Georgia Analysis to the National Movement breakup. The big question is whether Bokeria, Bakradze, and Ugulava can build a fresh, new, vibrant party, or whether the public will just view them as old wine in new, Misha-free bottles. Misha also needs to chart a new course for his political future. He’s apparently trying to ingratiate himself with Donald Trump. This could backfire, though, because reaching out to Trump means compromising his calling card, which is unflinching opposition to Vladimir Putin.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2iUEygx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *