About 14 years ago, when Georgia was a just a charming little corrupt nation known more for kidnappings than its spectacular cuisine, my friend remarked that Anthony Bourdain absolutely must come to Georgia. We brainstormed itineraries for a Bourdain tour and then shelved our fantasies in that closet of fanciful notions we all have - or at least I did.
Drug legalization advocates in Georgia have reason to cheer. The South Caucasus country’s Constitutional Court has issued a decision that prohibits the incarceration of individuals found to be in possession of up to 70 grams of marijuana.
The hippo has a new home, and the penguins have given up their wandering ways. Three months after a flood devastated Tbilisi’s city zoo, killing three zookeepers and 277 animals, the facility, a beloved spot for a family outing, has reopened. But questions remain about its future.
No sooner had images of a hippopotamus lost on a central street in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi gone viral this summer than offers of financial help for recovery from the city’s June 13-14 flood began to pour in. Yet, today, with well over $8.3 million raised from a variety of sources, questions have surfaced about how transparently and effectively the government is managing the money.
As the Georgian capital Tbilisi struggles to recover from a calamitous flash flood, a political storm is brewing – one in which incumbent authorities are trying to blame their predecessors for shortcomings exposed by the tragedy.
Legislators in Georgia are amending laws designed to hinder Georgian citizens from joining militant groups fighting in Syria. Despite the recent step, some critics contend the government could do more to address the issue.
Few Westerners doubt the South Caucasus country of Georgia’s commitment to eventual integration with Europe. But as a massive currency devaluation tightens the squeeze on Georgia’s relatively fragile economy, calls are increasing for ordinary Georgians to reconsider the actual benefits of that commitment.
The European Union is making a push to raise its profile in two trouble spots in the South Caucasus, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Brussels insists its forays in the region are nothing more than routine diplomacy. But some observers believe the EU is hoping to push back against Russia’s troublemaking in Ukraine.