The Daily Beat

The Daily Beat: 7 December

  • The European Commission reported Georgia is making a “significant effort” to implement visa liberalization requirements but pointed out the 69% growth in unfounded applications from Georgia compared to 2020. The EC recommended stepping up the fight against vested interests and high corruption. Another request, to align with EU visa policy is a tough sell, especially since this would mean imposing visas on an important neighbor and trade partner, Turkey.
  • Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s health condition is deteriorating and requires “urgent response”, said the formal report by doctors working acting under the auspices of the Public Defender. Forced to comment, Prime Minister Garibashvili told the journalists that while he wishes no ill to his fellow man, the matters of life and death “are in God’s hands.”    
  • The Georgian officials continued efforts to burnish their European credentials. Speaker Shalva Papuashvili met his counterparts in Luxemburg, while Tbilisi mayor Kakha Kaladze signed the cooperation memorandum with the city of Rome.
  • Ilia II, the venerated leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church offered condolences for five Georgian fighters recently killed in Ukraine. The Church seems to have taken the measure of the public outcry over the Prime Minister’s initial gaffe who denied the agency of the Georgian fighters by saying they “were brought to Ukraine” (later, he backtracked).  Ilia II struck a different chord, by pointing out that the fallen have “sacrificed their lives while supporting their neighbors”.

Comings and goings

  • Prime Minister and Foreign Minister held separate farewell meetings with the outgoing head of the European military monitors in Georgia, Amb. Marek Szczygieł, who’s been on duty since March 2020. EUMM is tasked with overseeing the ceasefire with Russia, following the armed intervention in 2008. EUMM says no replacement has been approved yet.
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