EU parliament committee votes yes to visa free, NATO brass in TBL, Okruashvili enters Rustavi2 case, Armenian PM resigns, new UK Ambo, Otsneba list out, Audit Office fines donors, Coalition for a Euro-Atlantic Georgia, Chugo says Nationals have provocation wing, Bidzina says 2/3 seats Otsneba, Usupashvili wants US base, Gori sakrebulo ejects Okru ally, Sturua witnesses threatened, still environmental protests Tbilisi Meria, too many cars, fake phones, benchmark rate lowered, Exxon Mobile puts screws on Azeris, import duty rate overhaul, Enguri repairs coming, Tsinandali five star hotel 2018, Fabrika hostel soon, grapes start, Guria Hazelnut, new BoG CEO, domestic violence center opens, German busses, GIPA environmental MA, Parliament quorumless, legal committee says yes to Margvel judges, trust in banks goes down, Misha on anti Roma mob, Pomerantsev podcast

One thought on “TBLPOD8sept2016

  1. The MEME this week is a video taken at a conference hosted by the McCain Institute and Economic Policy Research Center at Rooms Hotel. A huge rabbit who was apparently interested in countering Russian propaganda showed up at the conference and made quite a splash. The conference was attended by leaders from the Georgian government, the NATO Council, the US, and Ukraine.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bXqLW3


    The Hollywood Reporter reviews House of Others, a new film by Rusudan Glurjidze that’s being considered for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The film deals with the aftermath of the civil wars of the 1990s, but according to the reviewer specialized knowledge about Georgia’s history isn’t necessary. The film focuses more on creating a visual aesthetic than weaving an elaborate plot.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2csld11

    Social Science in the Caucasus looks at public trust in the banking system. They find that trust levels have fallen every year since 2009, so the causes are deeper than the lari’s weak performance over the past two years. Most alarming, among rural residents, distrust in the banking system has nearly quadrupled since 2010.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2c9XrIC

    Civil.ge is running a photo reel of the environmentalists protesting outside City Hall. They’re demanding the resignation of city environmental head Nino Sulkhanishvili as well as an overhaul of Tbilisi’s policy towards the environment and green spaces.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2cFLGgb

    The World Bank publishes its annual report on poverty reduction in Georgia. It finds that poverty is still a big problem but that it fell every year from 2011 to 2014, and that much of the credit goes to the fact that more rural households are engaged in productive economic activities. It also says that lack of proper education is the number one factor that keeps individuals, families, and communities in entrenched poverty.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2cBentw

    Freedom House publishes its 2016 Nations in Transit report for Georgia. The report is written by Michael Cecire. It received an overall score of 4.61 out of 6, which is slightly lower than its scores from 2014 and 2015. Georgia scored highest on national and local democratic governance, and lowest on civil society.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bXq3ry

    A new post from the ISET Economist Blog deals with consumer confidence and how it tends to be stable over time. Confidence took a big hit in 2015 due to the lari losing lot of value, but it’s gradually moving back to its long-term levels. They also find consumer confidence to be closely linked to measurements of happiness, which also tend to be stable over time.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2cALYRc

    Madona Gasanova writes in The FINANCIAL about citizenship by investment programs, something that Georgia currently doesn’t have. However, foreigners can get a residence permit if they invest at least 300 thousand lari. Some economists and business leaders think a citizenship for investment program will help bring money into the country, especially if Georgia gets visa-free travel to the EU, but the Georgian National Investment Agency thinks such a policy wouldn’t do much good.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bXqDpi

    Luke Coffey of the Heritage Foundation previews the visit of NATO bigwigs to Tbilisi this week. He thinks that Georgia has made enough democratic, security, and economic progress to get a lot more support from NATO than it currently does, and he makes the case for giving it a clear path to NATO membership.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2c7mw4z

    The Chicago Tribune lists Tbilisi as one of its best travel destinations this September. They specifically mention the city’s Persian and Art Nouveau architecture.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2ccIJkO

    Foreign Policy covers comments made by Misha about a recent case of mob violence against Roma in a village near Odessa, which started after a local Roma man was charged with raping and killing a young girl. No one was hurt by the mob because the local Roma population had already fled. The controversy is that Misha made comments in support of the angry mob, saying that he shared their outrage about crime and anti-social behavior in the village–two things that are widely blamed on its Roma population. He also didn’t mention the fact that the man in custody hadn’t yet been convicted of any crime.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bSKkII

    The Daily Beast has a piece on the upper-scale Kiev neighborhood of Vozdvyzhenka. The neighborhood is described as a Potemkin village–it was built in the latter half of the 2000s on the ruins of a pre-Soviet working class neighborhood–it cost about $100 million to develop and many of the buildings are visually stunning but poorly constructed. In the author’s view, it’s a microcosm for Kiev itself over the past decade and-a-half.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2chfC1B

    The American Interest has a podcast interview with Peter Pomerantsev, the brilliant journalist who writes about television, entertainment, and political misinformation in Russia. He talks about his 2015 book Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, as well about the US Presidential election campaigns. He also discusses the cultural influence that Russian money has been made on London–referring to Londoners as the service class of the global rich.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2cFMTUG

    EurasiaNet’s Josh Kucera writes about the complicated politics of Armenian genocide recognition in Germany. The German Bundestag passed a resolution this June to officially recognize the genocide. Turkey hit back, recalling its ambassador and refusing to allow German politicians to visit their troops serving at a German air base. They said the policy won’t change unless Germany denies genocide recognition, and Der Spiegel reported that the German Chancellery plans to issue an official statement staying that the resolution passed by the Bundestag is non-binding, so Germany’s government actually doesn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bXqpyo

    Reuters has a piece on attempts at reconciliation by the EU and Turkey. EU foreign ministers and Turkish officials met on the 2nd of September for the first time since the failed coup attempt in July. Turkey is still angry at what they see as a lack of support after the failed coup attempt. The EU is still critical of Turkey’s human rights record and its crackdown on civil society after the coup attempt. Turkey also said it won’t enter into any agreements about controlling the flow of refugees and migrants until it gets visa liberalization from the EU.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2bXqiTx

Leave a Reply

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