PM GAKHARIA DONS THE CORONA – PM delivered himself and hour-and-twenty-minutes tap on the shoulder at the Parliament, hailing the government’s response to the pandemic. He said the restrictions were timely, necessary and proportional to the outbreak. Responding ex-post to the opposition criticisms, he mentioned that the government took a conscious decision not to expand testing, since sanguine tests were unreliable. PM also announced intention to subsidize mortgage to relaunch construction. PM felt visibly confident and vindicated by Georgia avoiding a massive – and feared – outbreak deriding the opposition’s calls for more stimulus. “Go open a book or something” – he told and MP who was arguing for reducing the costs of administration.
…KOBAKHIDZE STICKS TO YOKEL TROPE “Georgian Dream” executive secretary has been obsessed by comparative coolness recently. In a panegyric fitting this style he said “PM gave a master-class [of ‘coolness’, supposedly] to opposition yokels”, adding that the “Georgian society, doctors and the government” were on one side of the barricades, while “Coronavirus, opposition and their televisions” were on the other.
SERIOUSLY NOW: OCCUPIED TERRITORIES HELPED State Minister Tsikhelashvili, who oversees Georgia’s policy towards Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia amended PMs statement by saying Tbilisi has been helping the two regions ‘delicately’ by providing information about Corona-19 pandemic in local languages, offering discreet support and instruction to local doctors and allowing the supply of needed medications and equipment. She also said 240 people were treated from the two regions, out of which 100 needed hospital treatment.
“FABRICATION AND DISSEMINATION OF FALSEHOODS” On May 27, the U.S. Embassy to Georgia released a statement, protesting Russia’s occupation of the Georgian territories, as well as the renewed disinformation campaign targeting Tbilisi-based Lugar Research Center. Embassy noted that over the past two weeks, the Russian-led security forces had erected unauthorized fences and reinforced illegal “borderization” efforts near 12 separate Georgian villages and called on Moscow to cease occupation. Recently, Russia demanded Tbilisi to give access to the center, pumping conspiracies about the U.S. role. Georgia said given the Russian attitude, it won’t let them visit the Center separately, but as a part of a larger, international team of experts.
BISHOP MOVES DIAGONALLY Bishop of Vani and Bagdati Anton caused a minor media stir recently saying perhaps Georgia’s pro-European aspiration shall be put to a referendum. After an outcry he walked back the statement, but in a curious fashion: Biship said he was all for Europe, but finds it hard to convince his parish, when certain forces – he named opposition parties and NGOs – who claim to be pro-European, incessantly attack the Church. Bishop promised to create an investigative group at the Patriarchy to name and shame those people and “to create lists” of them. Bishop Anton was particularly incensed by watchdog reports that he accumulates riches and runs lucrative contracts. In the past, he proved his skills in calculus by explaining that 25 million GEL the Georgian Orthodox Church receives from state are mere 59 tetri (cents) per capita, and really nothing to make fuss about.