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How will the recorded phone calls between Merabishvili and Targamadze broadcast in Ukraine affect Georgia’s image internationally?

Friday, January 22
"How can they affect it positively? I have just heard a small part of the recordings on TV and I was really ashamed at having such a Government in the country. When they are committing these kinds of illegalities in another country what they will do here at election time I can imagine."
Nino, manager, 31

"To tell the truth I was not surprised. The situation was strange from the beginning, as the number of Georgian observers was so large. The Ukrainian elections have great importance for the present Government of Georgia and it is doing its best to help the candidate most acceptable to it. The fact that its hidden activities have now been revealed will negatively affect our image, I think."
Gia, historian, 43

"These scandals concerning our so-called observers in Ukraine make it clear to the world how democratic a Government we have here in Georgia. Our authorities have managed to reduce our reputation not only in the eyes of the Ukrainian people but in the entire democratic world as well."
Guram, pensioner, 61

“I think it is very important that at last senior officials have shown themselves for what they are. The rumours about their criminality are at last confirmed. Sadly, this is now known to many countries, including our friends. I think this scandal can discredit Georgia very seriously, which will be bad for the Government and ordinary citizens as well.”
Natia, lawyer, 25

“I do not really care about our international image. What I care about are the dirty deals being done inside the Government and the ruling party. I can’t say that I was shocked, because it was no surprise to me to hear things like this from our politicians and Ministers. But it is shameful.”
Lasha, student, 20

“Of course this will be a negative factor in the eyes of the international community. We claim to be a democratic state with high standards of morality and rule of law. However we saw yesterday what kind of rule of law and what kind of democracy we have here.”
Alexandre, teacher, 60

“The recorded phone calls showed that no one is safe from being caught committing a crime. I must say that I don’t like the idea of listening in to other’s calls. But still this incident is terrible. What the broadcast in Ukraine has divulged is a great shame for us. Georgia has proved that it doesn’t care for its international image and is a marionette in other’s hands.”
Nino, sociologist, 31

“I think this recorded phone call was the most shameful event in modern Georgian history, because the Minister of Interior Affairs is someone who should ensure security within and outside the country and not provoke other countries to act against us.”
Ilia, lawyer, 23