Newspapers in Georgia
In Georgia, about 120 newspapers and 40 magazines are published in Georgian,
Russian and English. The most important newspapers in Georgian are Sakartvelo's
Respublika ('Georgian Republic', 9,000 copies, 1999) and Alia (25,000 copies),
while Svobodnaja Gruzija ('Free Georgia', 2,500 copies) is the largest
Russian-speaking. Georgia also publishes English-speaking Georgian Times (2,500
The state radio began broadcasting in 1927. There is a state broadcaster and
eight independents. The official news agency Sakinformi (English
Georgian Information Agency) was founded in 1989. In addition, there are
seven non-governmental news agencies. There are 556 radio and 474 TV receivers
per 1,000 residents (2000).
During the "Golden Age" in the 12th and 13th
centuries, Georgia experienced its cultural heyday. At
that time, a unique architecture was created, influenced
by Greek, Roman, Syrian and Persian architecture, among
others. In the present, it is primarily film art that
lets itself be talked about.
It also created a rich religious treasure of icons,
crucifixes, mosaics and reliefs. Most important of all
was the literature. The Georgian national post "The
knight in tiger traps" was written at this time by
court-martial Sjota Rustaveli.
Latest population statistics of Georgia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Well-known writers of recent times are the 19th
century writers Nikoloz Baratajvili and the social
critic Ilia Tjavtjavadze who, together with the poet
Akaki Tsereteli, led the movement for national
liberation at the end of the century (see Older
history). During the Stalin period (1929–1953), several
authors were murdered, including Micheil Javachisjvili
and Titsian Tabidze. Among modern authors are noted,
among others, Tjabua Amiredjibi (1921–2013), whose
novels "The Outlaw" and "The Last Escape" were
translated into Swedish.
Several Georgians have gained international
recognition in their time for their film and theater
art. Names like Tengiz Abuladze, Otar Ioseliani as well
as brothers Giorgi and Eldar Sjengelaia have made
Georgian film famous in the rest of the world.
In 2019, the Swedish-Georgian film "And then we
danced" got a lot of international attention, but also
controversial. The film, directed and scripted by Levan
Akin, has a gay theme and takes place in the Georgian
dance world. In Georgia, screening of the film led to
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Georgia. Artists and albums are also included.
Multi-song singing performed without accompaniment is
a hallmark of Georgia and, despite early Georgian
Christianity, is believed to be older than church music.
Flutes, stringed instruments and bagpipes are frequently
used in folk music.
In all three Caucasian countries, there are proud
textile traditions. The more industrialized
manufacturing that occurred during the Soviet era
degraded the quality of both the material and the
workmanship, but has made older rugs, saddlebags,
saltbags and other utensils in very diverse techniques
into internationally sought-after collectors and museum
objects. Georgia has, thanks to its climate, been able
to manufacture native silk. In Tbilisi there is a state
The EU promises support to countries in the east
Representatives of the EU and six former Soviet republics meet in Brussels.
The EU promises deeper cooperation with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia,
Armenia and Azerbaijan. The EU does not place a view on membership of the Union,
on the other hand, help fight corruption, strengthen the rule of law and
modernize the countries' economy.
Five countries form a transport corridor
Georgia is one of five countries agreed to establish a transport corridor
between Europe and Afghanistan. In addition to Georgia and Turkey, where
Istanbul is the western end of the corridor, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are
behind the settlement, which applies, inter alia, to customs regulations for
transport by road, rail and ferry across the Caspian Sea.
Oldest wine made on grapes
Researchers from several countries that analyzed the finds of 8,000-year-old
clay pots in today's Georgia have found traces of wine making. It is considered
to be the oldest known examples of wine production based on grapes. It is known
that there was wine production in China even earlier, but there the raw material
was rice. The findings are published in the journal of the American Academy of
The government is being reformed
A government reform is announced. Among other things, 18 ministries will be
merged to 14 in order to reduce bureaucracy and government spending. The entire
reformed government will need to be approved in a vote of confidence in
The OSCE approves local elections
Observers from the OSCE say that the municipal elections in Georgia are
essentially correct. The candidates have been allowed to run campaigns without
interruption and the voters' freedom has been respected according to the OSCE,
which, however, noted some problems with, among other things, the result
summary. The preliminary results show success for the reigning Georgian dream,
whose candidates are elected mayors already in the first round in, among others,
Tbilisi, Batumi, Poti and Rustavi. This means that in the next few years the
capital will be ruled by former football star Kacha Kaladze, who made a career
in the Italian club of Milan. Since 2012 he has been Minister of Energy.
Reluctant president signs constitutional supplement
President Margvelashvili signs the amendments to the Constitution that
Parliament voted twice, but he makes clear that he is doing so reluctantly. He
describes the additions as a dictation from the Georgian dream and accuses the
ruling party of wanting to consolidate its own power. The changes come into
effect after the 2018 presidential election and mean that Georgia will
transition to a purely proportional electoral system by 2024 with a 5 percent
barrier. From 2025, the president will be elected by a special council composed
of MPs. Among other things, the sale of agricultural land to foreign nationals
is also prohibited.
The President rejects constitutional change
President Margvelashvili vetoed the constitutional amendments approved by
Parliament on 26 September. He says that he is above all opposed to the
president being appointed by Parliament and that the votes cast on parties that
do not enter parliament should be transferred to the victorious party. The
Georgian dream of the ruling party says it is possible to compromise on the
issue of "bonus votes" to the winner and the question whether parties should be
allowed to form alliance alliances. The bill now goes back to Parliament where
the Georgian dream has a sufficient majority to vote down the president.
Parliament approves constitutional amendments
After nine months of fierce debate, a majority of the MEPs are adopting a
series of proposals to amend the constitution. The most important change is that
the party that wins a parliamentary election should be granted a number of extra
seats. Other changes are that the president should be elected by Parliament, not
directly by the people, and that Parliament should have the decisive political
power. Agricultural land should be sold to foreign individuals or companies. The
changes are driven entirely by the Georgian Dream Party. The opposition parties
either vote against or boycott the vote. The opposition is appealing to
President Margvelashvili to veto the legislative proposals, which they believe
are only for strengthening the government's position.
Georgia requests Saakashvili to be extradited
The Georgian Prosecutor's Office has asked former President Saakashvili to be
extradited from Ukraine, to which he has said he plans to return later in
September. Saakashvili is prosecuted in his former homeland for, among other
things, abuse of power.
Ex-president requested to be extradited
The Georgia State Prosecutor's Office has submitted a request to Ukraine to
extradite former Georgia President Saakashvili. He is charged in his former
homeland for violence against protesters and a police raid against a private
television station. Saakashvili was deprived of his Georgian citizenship when he
gained Ukrainian citizenship in 2015. After breaking with the Ukrainian
government, he was also deprived of that citizenship in July 2017. Saakashvili
is in Poland but says he plans to travel back to Ukraine in September. The
Ukrainian authorities say that he will be rejected at the border and that his
passport should be taken away from him.
Putin's visit is upset
The Georgia government strongly criticizes Russian President Putin for
visiting Abkhazia on the 9th anniversary of the start of the war in 2008. The
visit is described as "cynical" and "provocative".
Saakashvili without citizenship
Former Georgian President Micheil Saakashvili is deprived of the Ukrainian
citizenship he was granted in 2015, when he was appointed governor of Odessa.
Since he was deprived of his Georgian citizenship when he became a Ukrainian,
Saakashvili is now stateless. In his former homeland, he is wanted for abuse of
power during his nine years as president there, in Ukraine he is now accused of
having provided incorrect information when applying for citizenship.
The Presidents of Georgia and Ukraine agree that their countries will work
together to get closer to NATO and the EU. They justify this with the countries'
"independence and democracy facing the same threat", that is, they have been
torn apart by conflicts with Russian-backed separatists.
Power change in South Ossetia
Anatoly Bibilov, President of the South Ossetian Parliament, is declared
victorious in the April 9 presidential election. He provisionally gets around 58
percent of the vote, compared to 30 percent for incumbent President Leonid
Tibilov. A KGB officer gets 11 percent. About 78 percent of voters are said to
have agreed to change the name of the breakaway state from the Republic of South
Ossetia to the Republic of South Ossetia-Alania. The Georgia government
dismisses the election and the referendum as illegal and says the change of name
aims to "pave the way for Russia's illegal annexation" of the area.
Free to Schengen
Georgian citizens' right to travel to the countries within the Schengen
cooperation will come into force. Georgians are allowed to stay in the area for
up to 90 days for a 180-day period without a visa. However, this does not apply
South Ossetia is becoming increasingly Russian
14th of March
Russian President Putin orders that the Russian military in South Ossetia
prepare to incorporate the local defense force into its organization. This will
take another step towards annexing the Georgian outbreak state in practice. As
expected, the Georgian government condemns the Russian plans in sharp terms.
Controversial plan for the state etheric media
State Television and Radio Company's new CEO Vasil Maghlaperidze presents a
three-year plan for modernization and development of the business to reach more
viewers and listeners. Of Georgia's seven TV channels with coverage across the
country, the two state channels have the least number of viewers. But to get
advice on implementing the reforms, Maghlaperidze suggests that an unspecified
number of employees be terminated and that all program operations, except news
broadcasts, be stopped for eleven months. Critics question whether the company
would thereby live up to its commitment to provide objective and in-depth
information about society, especially as there is a public debate on planned
constitutional reforms and local elections should be held towards the end of the
Visa-free to Schengen
The European Parliament votes to allow Georgian citizens to enter the
Schengen Union countries without a visa. The decision is expected to take effect
in March or April, after some formalities have been completed.
The last government party is cracking
Leading members of the former ruling party The National Movement says they
will form a new party. Several of them accuse the exiled ex-President
Saakashvili of having failed in leadership and that the opposition to the ruling
Georgian dream needs to be renewed. Among the jumpers are former Speaker of
Parliament David Bakradze and Tbilisi's former Mayor Gigi Ugulava. 21 of the
National Movement's 27 MPs say they are moving on to the new party.