PayPal, BI offshore, Rabati crosses, war inquest, Areshidze on Interior, free text books, church on chips, banking regulations, recruits walk, ex-UNM sakrebulo faction, Gubaz door taped, Bacho transfered back, Kakabadze on Turk $ to UNM, farmers protest Indians, Abkhaz monuments, more Sony, Jones on Otsneba, EU should shoot straight, water fees, Bera’s studio, new flights, poverty numbers, Iranians in banks, Thatcher in Tbilisi 1987, book imports

11 thoughts on “TBLPOD11april2013

  1. PM Bidzina Ivanishvili about the 2008 August war: “I personally have a lot of questions. I consider that our government, led by the President acted inadequately in the situation. I think it can’t be justified that the arm forces were ready and military activities were launched before Russia crossed the border. An unidentified formation fired and it would be absolutely adequate by our president and the government to invite the international monitors for observation. This process could be ended on this level. I watched all newscasts and nothing special happened. A grenade was launched at one of the houses and a wall was damaged, no death. It would be enough to take at most 100 locals from the village and deploy armed forces. One of the right steps I think was to invite the international monitoring and observers. An investigation of the august war will not damage the image of Georgia, the previous government or the President. Europe has different view from the notes of Tagliavini’s group, and the previous government spreads different information in Georgia.”

    About the church: “The Church should be independent from the state. Orthodox Christianity is a huge part of our culture, so I have a huge respect towards the Church. Christianity had a great role in our existence today. The necessary funds, that is needed from the state to help the church must be transferred once and the state must not try to exert any kind of control over the church.”

    “No matter how we try to hide it and no matter how much we take care of our Church, which we respect, we know that problems exist there too and in some cases representatives from the society react on these problems. I think it’s normal and everyone should have a possibility to express opinion on everything and there should be no taboo topics. Every representative of the society should be able to ask a question, but without insult.”

    About smoking: “The cases of adolescents drinking alcohol in Cafes and restaurants have increased. I ask people to treat this with understanding. We are a country of wine; we know how to use wine, though stricter control on alcohol for the adolescents is necessary. As for the smokers, we’ll help them to say no to smoking. The number of places will increase where smoking will be banned. 10 people a minute die due to cigarettes. 7 out of 10 cases are linked with cigarette.”

  2. Amendments to the Law on Common Law Courts:

    Six members of the Council – those seats which are now occupied by two members appointed by the President and four members who are lawmakers, according to the proposal should be all elected by the Parliament, but none of them should be an MP. According to the bill these six candidates for the Council membership should be representatives from legal academic circles, legal advocacy non-governmental organizations and Georgian Bar Association (GBA). According to the proposal these groups – relevant NGOs, law schools and law departments of various universities, as well as GBA will be eligible to nominate candidates, which should then be confirmed by the Parliament.

    Eight seats of the High Council of Justice will still be filled by judges, according to the proposal, but the bill offers to change the method of nomination of candidates and election of candidates by the Judicial Conference.

  3. Re ECFR and Ms. Kabanova Disagree. ECFR is not a serious organization, but rather the personal vehicle for its director and some other ambitious people. the analysis you mentioned, contains some good practical recommendations, but they are based on the faulty analysis of equivalent interst in “cohabitation” by government and opposition. Opposition has made clear that its only goal is to erdicate GD from the face of the earth.

  4. I love the podcast, I always learn a lot. But I am generally doing something else while listening, and sometimes miss key information, i.e. the name/publication of that guy Jones you were discussing. I see that today you are posting direct quotes by BI and details about amendments to the Law on Common Law Courts–could you maybe repeat (or summarize) the Jones item, perhaps with a link to the article? that would be a great service. Thanks!

    • Steven Jones has written a new article called “Democracy in Georgia: De Capo.” In it he argues that the negative press about the new government’s supposed political persecution is “a repetition of misinformed Western observers, who so often get Georgia wrong.” The article has a bunch of great quotes like this one: “A second feature which accentuated Georgia’s regular slide into authoritarianism, was the unbridgeable chasm between governed and governors. This is not just a Soviet legacy; it was perpetuated after 2003 by self-proclaimed neophytes insistent on the ideological and economic reconstruction of society along Western lines.” Despite giving Misha some credit, Jones refers to Misha’s rule as “a neo-liberal fancy” that fetishized FDI, stimulated high-level corruption and, ultimately, did little to improve the lives of most Georgians. Jones notes the repetition of Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze, and Saakashvili, each of whom came to power saying they would reverse the democratic shortcomings of their predecessors only to be booted out by the next. Jones argues that the historical lack of separation between economic and political power, the inability to establish an independent judiciary, and the tendency to centralize are what have led to this. The question is whether Georgian Dream will reverse the trend. He then explores how Georgian Dream has taken real steps to solve these problems, though it still is not clear what the results will be.

      For the full article go here: http://www.cicerofoundation.org/lectures/Stephen_Jones_Georgia.pdf

  5. I have been using Skrill/Moneybookers with my Georgian bank account to pay for online purchases and small foreign offline purchases for some time, a Paypal rival. It works quite well and most vendors seem happy to accept it. Amazon won’t take Paypal or Skrill, it has its own proprietary payment system.


Leave a Reply

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