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The Daily Beat: 3 January

Georgian leaders spoke to the nation in their separate New Year’s addresses. President Salome Zurabishvili”s first paragraph was about Ukraine and its fight for freedom. She spoke at length about Georgia’s European future but began and ended by appealing to solidarity. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili hammered home the keywords – “reasonable and prudent”, repeating them three times, in the beginning, middle, and end of the text. President was somber, Prime Minister bombastic. Both wished for hope in 2023.

A sick infant died en route to the hospital in Tbilisi on Jan. 1. She was being transported from the occupied Akhalgori district of Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia. The occupation authorities are said to have impeded the prompt passage of the family due to the child lacking appropriate identity documents.

Two Georgians were reportedly detained by the Russian occupation forces in the occupied area near Koshki village in the Gori municipality, State Security Service said. The EU monitors and other internationals were informed.

Talk and show

Passions were inflamed, as images of the dilapidated Levuille Estate surfaced on social media. The estate, property of the émigré Government of the Georgian Democratic Republic was handed over to the government in 2016. The disseminated images showed what seems to be paper and photo archives suffering under leaky roofing. The Ministry of Culture shot back blaming the French bureaucracy for completing the transfer. They also said the pictures were old, the money was allocated for the roof repairs, which started in 2022, and that the estate will be in top shape by 2026 when a new cultural center is scheduled to open.

Many Georgian internet outlets ran a story that from 2023, most European countries will require all Georgians to undergo prior online registration. Those aged 18 to 70 will have to also make a one-time payment of 7 Euros. This is because the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), agreed 2018, will come alive. Most of these outlets forgot to highlight that the system will start operating in May. Some European observers worry, that fringe political groups may claim that Georgia lost its visa-free travel rights.


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