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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Thursday, February 25
Targamadze demands increased pay for all teachers

Sakartvelos Respublika writes that leader of the Christian Democrats Giorgi Targamadze is demanding that the Government pays pensions and wages throughout Georgia and not only in Tbilisi. He made this statement on Tuesday at the Parliament's plenary sitting.

Targamadze protested that the Tbilisi Mayor has given teachers living in Tbilisi a 100 GEL gas voucher and stated that Government social programmes must be applied equally and pensions and wages must not be increased only in the capital.

“Teachers are responsible for our future and their hard work must be respected. I repeat again that I welcome the increase in teachers’ wages but it must not only be done in the capital. This action seems connected to the forthcoming Tbilisi Mayoral elections,” stated Giorgi Targamadze.

Alcohol abuse is a growing trend

Versia writes that alcohol intoxication and alcohol-related fatalities have become more prevalent, in Tbilisi and the country as a whole, because counterfeit and low grade vodka is available. This vodka is sold on tap in the markets, at fairs and in the streets and does not have a label, meaning its that components and who made it are unknown. This vodka costs 2-3 GEL per litre and 20 tetri per disposable 100 gramme cup, so there is no wonder it is so popular.

This vodka has blighted the lives of many unemployed and elderly men who do not have the money to visit the doctor or buy medicines. “Statistically intoxication has increased. Some people have been poisoned by this alcohol. Some have been drinking it for a long time, their number is increasing and they must be regarded as chronic alcoholics. Unfortunately in Tbilisi there is a very high vodka falsification level,” stated Head of the Toxicology Department of the Mikhail Hospital Soso Kutubidze.

Klimiashvili comments on several issues

"The Government has created hysteria over Noghaideli meeting Putin, but he has had meetings in Moscow before. The opposition think it will profit them to say that they need nothing from Moscow. Noghaideli is appreciated in Russia for his money, because today there is a savage, oligarchic capitalism in Russia. If you are a bag of money, you are appreciated," political analyst Ramaz Klimiashvili states in an interview with Rezonansi.

"As for ideology, whether we want to be a pro-Russian or democratic state, what is the problem? Are Merkel, Sarkozy and Berlusconi not also pro-Russian? Sarkozy is considered the most pro-American President in the history of France, but we have witnessed his pro-Americanism," Ramaz Klimiashvili adds.

"The Alliance may not have disintegrated yet but there is a great split… the primaries are a Government project," he concludes.