The Daily Dispatch

The Daily Dispatch – 28 May

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Doctors to the rescue — Minimum wage blues — PM extends a helping hand to developers — Money for the coffers

YOU SHALL NOT PASS! Silver-haired Head of NCDC Amiran Gamkrelidze fired back at the Russian insistence to visit “everything” in Georgia’s Lugar Center. “Drop those imperial habits, you can’t come here alone. If you come, you’d come with international missions” – retorted Gamkrelidze to the new wave of Russian MFA insinuations that the research facility is up to US-inspired mischief. Beating back Corona-19 first onslaught and now tough on Russians?! Twittering masses already see Good Doctor Gamkhrelidze in the parliament seat, what with PM Gakharia riding on his coattails in front of MPs.

MONEY FOR NOTHING? On May 27, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) released a public opinion survey, revealing that about 3/4 of Georgians support having a minimum wage, with the perceived decent minimum wage, on average, amounting to GEL 854.1 (USD 267). An understandable sentiment, if we consider that Georgia’s economic growth dipped 16.6% year on year in April, as Statistics Office revealed.

BUILD IT AN THEY’LL COME PM Gakharia unveiled a plan worth of GEL 434 million (USD 136 million) to help battered construction business amid COVID-19 pandemic. The construction sector contributes 9% to GDP and employs 120 thousand, so the move makes sense. But the opponents are fuming at the plans to subsidize mortgages, wondering if this would make poor pay for the better- or even best-off. Government response pending.

FRIENDS IN DEED The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on May 28 that it had approved a USD 100 million loan to help Georgia contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate the impact on businesses, and protect the livelihoods of the most vulnerable. Another 90 million EUR will be loaned by the German government for investing into energy sector and for the budgetary support to counter the effects of Covid-19.

That’s full lid for today.

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