SINKING Foreign trade of Georgia tanked during H1 2020, due to COVID-19 crisis. Imports fell 16.5% and exports 15.6% – a stark reminder of the economic price to pay for the worldwide slowdown.
SHOOTING The Russian occupation troops shot, wounded, and then detained a Georgian man in the vicinity of the occupation line of South Ossetia, Georgian security services reported. Georgian MFA condemned the incident and was backed by the US Embassy in Tbilisi. The ruling party’s Giorgi Volski, vice-speaker of the parliament was quoted as saying “someone will be shot in the foot, someone will be arrested – that’s what occupation is all about”. He put the responsibility on Saakashvili’s administration, saying they “conspired against Georgia and let the occupating power get away with aggression and occupation.”
SCRUTINIZED The EU MPs submitted 165 amendments to the European Parliament resolution concerning the implementation of the EU’s association agreement with Georgia. Some of these pat Georgia on the back for successful handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. But many set fair elections and respect to the rule of law as conditions for closer alliance with the EU. Some call for “full abandonment of practices of politicization of judicial processes and fully implemented in letter and spirit as soon as possible” and even call for personal sanctions on Georgian leaders in case there is pre-election violence or prosecution of the opposition leaders. Decidedly, the current administration is scrutinized with suspicion in Brussels.
ELECTRIFIED “Girchi” – a libertarian political outfit with a penchant for pranks – said it puts a Tesla electric vehicle as a prize in a lottery that will be open to those who get out and vote in the parliamentary polls. Not voter bribing, says the party, since anyone voting will be able to participate. But there is a small print – the more votes “Girchi” wins, the more Teslas is pledges to the lottery in the next elections. Long game, hidden advertising, and devious small print: this party’s leaders are true to their ideology at least. Meantime said the ruling party caucus leader mirthlessly commenting on Tesla lottery – “they smoke too much pot [at Girchi]”. And yes, in case you were wondering, Girchi also campaigned for legalizing cannabis.
BESIDE THE POINT The Georgian Justice Minister declined to appear before the parliament to explain her refusal to implement the court decision to restore the license to Badri Shengelia, a notary public. Mr. Shengelia’s license was withdrawn on trumped-up administrative grounds of partaking in party politics. Ruling party MP, chair of the legal affairs committee Sopo Kiladze said Minister Tsulukiani was detained for technical reasons and said the opposition rails against the minister because she is adept at shredding the opposition to pieces with her witty comments. Quite beside the point, since disobeying a court decision is a criminal offense and may serve as one of the grounds for ministers’ impeachment…
That’s full lid for today!