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2008-04-01
“Increasing Pension does not “Helping People”
Today is the first of April (fool’s day in Georgia). From this day on more than half million pensioners in Georgia will receive a 70 GEL pension instead of their much expected 55 GEL. It is not a joke, be it April fool or not; there is a pension increase in Georgia and this is part of the much acclaimed 50-day poverty reduction program that the government boosts so much about. 

2008-03-24
“Homeland of Potato” Harvestless for 2008
Samtskhe-Javakheti region in south-eastern Georgia, which was always considered to be the “homeland and breadbasket of potatoes,” now faces the immediate danger of facing this crop season without much of a potato harvest. The damage from the prolonged frosts has amounted to 12 million GEL already, and much seed potatoes have been frozen where it will not germinate. This year’ severe winter has created many problems for agriculture with 15 thousand tones of seed-potato frozen.
2008-03-17
Consumers’ Rights in Georgia
“It is new, don’t worry”, - if a salesperson characterizes the sausage of vague origin that is being sold in unhygienic  conditions in a Tbilisi bazaar, do not believe him and do not buy it. The union 21st Century responded to the consumer’s rights day on the 15th of March with the publication of a research on consumers’ rights in Georgia.

2008-03-13
“Delayed” Promised Vouchers or “Runaround”
Fighting poverty is claimed to be a main reduction of the Georgian government. Much has been said, especially in promises made in the run-up to presidential elections and now in the countdown to parliamentary elections. It is debatable, however, if the rhetoric is close to the reality.

2008-03-11
Forgotten Deported People
Nato Shavshishvili, who was deported from Russia last year during the “Big Deportation”, is now living together with her family in Varketili distict of Tbilisi. She was paralyzed and found herself living in very difficult conditions when she returned to Georgia through Armenia. It was very difficult for her to start her life from the beginning. She became a private entrepreneur and opened a small shop, but this ended up causing her even more problems than benefits. Many other Georgians who were deported as a result of the Georgian Russian Spy Scandal in November of 2006 are also now living in difficult situations.

2008-03-05
Teacher vs. Corrupt Director
Nanuli Gakhokidze, a resident of Khoni district in Imereti Region, Western Georgia, worked at the Khoni Branch of the Tbilisi Comprehensive Art School since January 1 2000 as a nurse. During the first 3 years of her employment she received a meager salary of 15 GEL and afterwards she received 25 GEL a month. Nanuli Gakhokidze doubted about the amount of her official salary since she signed the salary acceptance report on 53 GEL in October of 2005. However, the director of the school still paid only 25 GEL as a standard practice. The dispute found its way to court.
2008-02-28
Gia Nodia Is not Satisfied with the Reforms in Education System
What promises were given to the teachers in Gali and Zugdidi districts?
Gia Nodia, the Minister of Education and Science handed out vouchers on health insurance personally to 688 teachers in Gali. He also distributed plentiful promises on behalf of his ministry to teachers in Zugdidi and Gali districts.  
2008-02-28
Ugulava’s Buses Create Problems in Gori
Shida Kartli local government started to break the pre-election promises of the Georgian president long ago. For example, transportation fee was increased. Although acting regional governor Lado Vardzelashvili claims that he is aware about the problems of the region, he has poor information about the transportation problems village residents have in Shida Kartli.
2008-02-27
Welfare or Pre-Election Promises?
According to the Georgian State Statistics Department the minimal income for a Georgian citizen is 194.5 GEL per month. Most citizens, however, have much less income than the official estimate. It is understandable under the current political realities when buttressed with extreme social conditions why it is now paramount for the central government to present offered the well-known poverty reduction project entitled “Georgia without Poverty.”

2008-02-25
Levan Bezhashvili: Why Local Government Avoid Journalists and NGOs?
Levan Bezhashvili was recently appointed as the Georgian President’s Representative to Kakheti region. Previous to this assignment he was the chairperson of the Parliamentary Legal Committee. The new governor intends to cooperate with local journalists and NGO workers. The first meeting with the representatives of civil society was organized last week.
2008-02-25
School Reform: What’s the problem? (Part II)
The institute of the tutorial board, which was established as a result of educational reform, is another current but separate topic for discussion. Experts concluded that these boards failed to achieve their started goals. They have been totally ineffective. First of all, the articles providing for tutorial Boards were inserted in the law without complete consideration. And other than a two-year preparation period for implementation that was mentioned into the law, and was not done accordingly and the decision was immediately made to elections. Consequently, the members of the tutorial board were not sufficiently trained to do their jobs.

2008-02-22
Georgia: A Flickering Beacon of Democracy

In 2004, in line with the positive changes in the country, we pointed out the human rights violations which took place after the “Rose Revolution”. Most of the people did not dare speak of them. We dared to tell the truth. “One Step Forward – Two Steps Back” was the name of the human rights report the Human Rights Centre published in December, 2004. As antidemocratic tendencies developed further, our reaction was immediate. The report produced in 2005 was called “Next Stop – Belarus?” 
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