NewsThe Daily Beat

The Daily Beat: 3 March

Georgia marks Mother’s Day on March 3. It is an official holiday, so the news trickled in slower than usual.

Following the heated parliamentary debates over the draft law on foreign agents, the ruling Georgian Dream party chair, Irakli Kobakhidze, defended the draft and attacked CSOs in a televised interview with Imedi TV, the ruling party mouthpiece. Kobakhidze accused the CSOs of fueling polarization and fighting the national identity, calling them church detractors. He set his targets on “Droa” and “Shame Movement,” as well as ISFED, Transparency International – Georgia, and an unnamed organization that apparently funds religious activities. Kobakhidze said they strive to establish the “honest rules of the game” with the donor community – apparently implying that funding of at least these CSOs must cease.

Council of Religions and Council of National Minorities – two consultative bodies existing under the umbrella of the Public Defender’s office expressed “extreme concern” over the Russian-style “foreign agent” bills, saying they “discredit entire civil society” and “create a hostile environment for it.” Their statement reads that both bills run contrary to the will of the Georgian people, the goals enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia, and fundamental freedoms.

Speaker Shalva Papuashvili gave a prompt written response to the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Dunja Mijatović’s concerns over the draft law on foreign agents, arguing in favor of the proposed drafts. Georgian citizens “have the right to information about the actors that affect their lives,” claimed Papuashvili. The regulatory framework for Georgia’s civil sector falls short of the provisions of transparency and accountability that govern, for instance, political parties and government agencies, including when it comes to foreign funding, writes the speaker in a published reply letter. Papuashvili also assured the Commissioner of Georgia’s commitment to democratic values and pledged inclusive consultation in adopting the drafts. The speaker’s words starkly contrasted with chaotic scenes at the Parliament today, where the marshals were summoned to extract media and opposition MPs from the hall forcibly.

The sanctioned Russian bank “Tinkoffannounced the suspension of currency transfers in Georgia due to problems with the correspondent bank, the Russian state TASS agency reported. “Unfortunately, we cannot proceed further with money transfers in Georgia. This is related to the fact that our corresponding bank in Georgia has stopped processing transfers,” the support service of the credit organization said. European Union hit Tinkoff in its tenth package of sanctions. The bank’s app was later removed from the App Store. In the past months, many Georgians swarmed to the easy money schemes, letting the Russian immigrants use their bank accounts to take out cash or to buy crypto-currencies. Many of these transfers were reportedly made through “Tinkoff.”


Back to top button