The Daily Beat

The Daily Beat: 15 December

  • Irakli Kobakhidze, the majority party leader, said the EU parliament report and resolution “were not worth a dime,” while both he and the party whip, Mamuka Mdinaradze tried to explain away the criticisms of the MEPs by saying the institution was “corrupt” and “subject to illicit influence.” Vice PM Tea Tsulukiani called the documents “laughable.” The Georgian Dream is particularly irked by the resolution menacing sanctions against its patron, Bidzina Ivanishvili, and the MEP calls to release ailing former President Mikheil Saakashvili on medical parole.
  • The official personal data watchdog is investigating the legality of releasing the hospital room footage of Saakashvili, aired by the penitentiary yesterday. Several doctors stepped forward claiming medical malpractice and a breach of ethics. The Public Defender’s office said the release of videos pursued no legitimate aim and was planted to contradict the medical conclusions. EU and US Ambassadors in Tbilisi reminded the government of its obligations to protect the inmates’ rights.
  • Ali Asadov, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan was in Tbilisi to talk about business and security. No specific details were released. Recently, the EU has unveiled plans to link South Caucasus to the European power grid.
  • The European human rights court ruled in favor of civic activists who protested against the white elephant projects by oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Foundation in 2014. They were detained and charged with disorderly conduct and obscenity for carrying the banners likening the project to a penis. The court said the state trampled upon protected speech and the freedom of assembly.

Bad press

  • The revered French Le Monde carries a feature by Faustine Vincent decrying Georgia’s “ambiguous neutrality” when it comes to the war in Ukraine. Noting overwhelming public support for the Ukrainian cause, it casts hard light on official Tbilisi’s “silent capitulation.”


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