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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, March 6
“Revaz Arveladze: It’s possible to reduce electricity tariffs in Georgia!”

Akhali Taoba interviews energy analyst Revaz Arveladze who says there is enough electricity supply to reduce costs to grid subscribers.

“Right now, we have a lot of electricity reserves in the country. If electricity is exempt from VAT, the tariff will decrease by GEL 0.03,” he says. “Several years ago, I submitted a law to parliament to exempt electricity from VAT. Parliament supported this, but then-president Eduard Shevardnadze and then-finance minister Zurab Noghaideli vetoed it.”

“Jondi Baghaturia: Government delaying the release of political prisoners!”

Opposition coalition member and leader of the populist Kartuli Dasi movement Jondi Baghaturia accuses the government of dragging its feet on releasing ‘political prisoners,’ according to Rezonansi.

He said that March 4 negotiations led to the freeing of several prisoners arrested after the November 7 crisis, when riot police forcefully dispersed anti-government protestors.

“The government spends hours thinking and doing nothing, and it’s deliberately delaying the release of political prisoners arrested during the November 7 crackdown,” Baghaturia said.

“In Georgia, giving birth to a baby is a symbol of lost income”

Sakartvelos Respublika quotes Christian Democratic Party leader Giorgi Targamadze as saying, “Recently in Georgia, giving birth to a baby has become a symbol of lost income.”

At a March 4 press conference, Targamadze said Georgian labor law limits the rights of Georgian mothers to work. His party, he said, would strive to introduce family-friendly policies.

“[The government] does not [have effective] social-demographic and family policy. This is proved by the fact that families with seven and more children receive only GEL 35 in social assistance each month,” Targamadze said.

Social conditions will be a key priority for his movement, Targamadze said, promising to feature policy solutions in their parliamentary election campaign.

That same day, the youth wing of the Christian Democratic Party protested the government’s social policies in front of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Affairs.

“Journalist Giorgi Mamatsashvili begins a hunger strike”

Yesterday, journalist Giorgi Mamatsashvili began a hunger strike in front of the Samshoblo publishing house in protest of the expected privatization of the building, according to Akhali Taoba.

Mamatsashvili sent an open letter to the president pledging to continue his hunger strike to the end if the publishing house is not preserved for media use.