Government further leans on Rustavi 2 via Supreme Court, EU Court calls BS, charges in Church scandal, EU visa free 28 March, NATO visit, Abkhaz closures, Austria FM says send refugees to Georgia, Kokoity can not run, Public Broadcaster summer shut down, PM says Media Omsbudsman, Def Min gets rid of planes, Enguri shutdown, Putin pardons innocent, Bidzina 276 richest, gender march in Tbilisi, Tbilisi Sea IDP flats, Kobuleti road work, fire victims demo, gas explosion on Politovskaya, Sagarejo wind, inflation up, aircraft component factory, wind farm plan near Zestaponi, Anaklia plan, container hotel Gudauri, two thirds of wine export to Russia, deposit insurance, Rosie dad

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  1. The MEME this week is a humorous take on the iconic Rosie the Riveter propaganda poster from the Second World War. Instead of Rosie, this version features a Georgian man cleaning and taking care of a baby, and encourages other men by telling them that they can do it, too. The meme was posted by Lasha Kavtaradze. It was first posted in 2013, but got a lot of shares this week for International Women’s Day.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2mGVhpU


    Writing for EurasiaNet, Ken Stier looks at the Enguri hydropower complex that straddles the border between Georgia and South Ossetia. The dam was recently closed for structural repairs, highlighting the necessity of cooperation between the two sides. Enguri is Abkhazia’s primary source of electricity, and Georgia helped fill the gap while the dam was out of commission. Typically, about 40 percent of the electricity produced by Enguri in a given year goes over to the Abkhaz side.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2ncgF49

    Also for EurasiaNet, Giorgi Lomsadze covers the Rustavi Ori ruling. He questions whether free speech is actually at stake and whether the station is headed for a standoff with law enforcement officials when they attempt to enter the premises. Rustavi Ori staff say they won’t comply with the Supreme Court’s ordered change of ownership. Regardless of whether Otsneba meddled in the court proceedings or not, Rustavi Ori is the country’s only major pro-opposition television station, and changing its editorial policy would be very bad for media pluralism.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2m66Q5Y

    Natia Mestvirishvili of the Caucasus Research Resource Centers writes critically about International Women’s Day, arguing that instead of flowers, what Georgian women really is need protection of their basic rights. She lists a number of statistics including the high number of sex-selective abortions, the fact that Georgia has the highest maternal mortality rate in the region, and that women on average earn 39 percent less than men.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2miHlQB

    The hardest-working NGO in the South Caucasus, Transparency International Georgia, issues its statement on the Rustavi Ori ruling. The organization’s stance is clear: In all three instances of judicial proceedings, including the Supreme Court’s final deliberation, the courts did not meet the requirements of an independent court decision and the process raised doubts about government interference in the court system. The proceedings left the impression that the government is trying to take control over Rustavi Ori, which would be a blow to media pluralism and democracy and threaten Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration processes. The statement was co-signed by a number of civil society organizations, including the Open Society Georgia Foundation, the Economic Policy Research Center, the Georgian Institute of Politics, and quite a few others.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2nlcNgI

    Luis Navarro has a new piece for the Foreign Policy Research Institute, touching upon the media landscape after the Rustavi Ori ruling. He makes the somewhat dubious claim that, if implemented, the ruling will result in Georgia’s broadcast media being primarily pro-Russian. He also makes the very un-dubious claim that just like its predecessor, the Otsneba government falsely conflates being pro-Western with being pro-democratic, and puts the desire to punish its political opponents ahead of its commitment to free speech.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2m67aSv

    Bloomberg has an interview with Zachary Witlin of the Eurasia Group, who provides an update on the financial implications of the war in Eastern Ukraine. Most of Ukraine’s economy is gradually recovering, but the separatist territories are really hurting, and they want more financial support from Russia. Also, separatist leaders are getting frustrated with the relative stalemate.
    Link: http://bloom.bg/2m8RXAL

    The German online magazine Ostpol covers 21 women who are making major social impacts in Eastern Europe. One of them is Tamara Chergoleishvili, the director of Tabula who is married to Giga Bokeria of the Movement for Liberty-European Georgia. Also there is Irma Inashvili on the opposite end of the ideological spectrum, who’s fighting for traditional values and trying to keep Western influences out of Georgia.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2mNFFBF

    OC-Media covers the controversy surrounding the area near Orbeliani Square and the Dry Bridge, where occupants are being evicted to make way for renovation works. Families and business owners will be relocated by City Hall for nearly a year while the work is performed. Many people living there claim they were informed about it only a week ago, and were told to vacate by the end of this week. The renovations are part of the New Tiflis Project, which was behind the renovation of Aghmashenebeli avenue that took place last year.
    Link: http://bit.ly/2mf4a9J

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