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The News in Brief

Monday, April 11
Georgian economy stably grows despite current regional processes – Minister of Finance

Georgian economy stably grows despite the current regional processes, - Georgia’s Minister of Finance, Nodar Khaduri has declared.

He commented on the promises given by the Georgian Dream party, saying the government is doing its best to improve Georgia's economic situation, and despite current crises, Georgia’s economy is stably growing.

In response to a question whether he himself will be in the election list, Khaduri said consultations may be held regarding the issue. As for the PM’s statement concerning holding a run-off, Khaduri said it is not ruled out as the political environment is very pluralistic.

‘There is no violence, nor will there be in the future. The election environment will help everyone make a choice according their mind and conscience,’ he said.

Georgian PM to Address PACE

Georgia’s PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili will address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) during its spring session, which opens in Strasbourg on April 18.

The Georgian PM’s address is scheduled for April 21, according to the draft agenda of PACE’s spring session released on Friday.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and Turkey’s PM Ahmet Davutoglu are among other dignitaries, who are also scheduled to address PACE's spring session.

Feminists protest against abortion ban outside Poland’s embassy in Tbilisi

Nearly 20 people gathered Friday outside the Polish embassy in Tbilisi to show solidarity with Polish women trying to stop a proposed ban on abortion in their country.

The gathering was organized by Independent Group of Feminists and other participants who held up posters with messages such as ‘My body, my business’, ‘Abortion is a personal decision, not a legal debate’ and ‘Keep abortion safe and legal’ in Polish, Georgian and English.

Emanuela, a young Polish girl who moved to Georgia five months ago, told DF Watch that she suffers every time something bad happens in Poland, and since she cannot be there herself, she was happy when she heard about the planned protest in Tbilisi.

“My body is my body, so I should decide about my body. This is my problem and not a problem of the church, which now wants to decide what to do with our bodies and it is going too far; I think that they’ve already crossed the border,” she said.

No-one came out of the embassy to talk to the crowd, but passers-by reacted in different ways.

Two boys approached asking what the rally was about. One of them introduced himself as a medical student planning to become a gynecologist. Tamar Gurchiani, one of the participants of the gathering, explained to him that they are against banning abortion, not supporting abortion, and that a woman’s body belongs to the woman, not to others.

“But what about the baby, have you even seen how abortions are done?” the boy asked, later making fun of the participants by saying that he has never seen such a big rally.

An old woman passed by and slowly approached, asking what was happening.

“Where were you years ago, I have done tens of abortions myself,” she said.

Organizers of the gathering explained that Poland has restrictive abortion laws, with abortion illegal in most circumstances except when the woman’s life is endangered, the fetus is malformed or the pregnancy is the result of a criminal act. The proposed changes will bring in a complete ban on abortion, as well as restrict access to contraception.

“We believe that access to legal and safe abortion and contraception is a fundamental women’s right and restrictive laws should immediately be overthrown,” they said.

The demonstrators believe that the proposed law in Poland will have a negative influence on the country’s image abroad, as a secular democratic state that upholds the human rights of all of its citizens.

“The Independent Group of Feminists calls on politicians in Poland to immediately fulfil the demands of the movement “Reclaiming Choice” (Odzyskac Wybor).”
(DF Watch)