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Compiled by Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 2
Three Parties Vie for MP Seat in By-Election reports that the Candidates from the ruling National Movement Party, as well as Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) and Industrialists Parties will run in MP by-elections in the Telavi single-mandate constituency on October 2. The majoritarian seat in Telavi, a town and district in Eastern Georgia's Kakheti Region, became vacant after Gia Arsenishvili, a ruling party lawmaker who chaired the Parliamentary Comittee for Human Rights, died of heart attack in November 2010. CDM, a leading party in the small parliamentary minority group which now has seven MPs in the 150-seat Parliament, named its candidate on August 31. Two other parties said they would nominate their candidates on September 1, a day before the deadline. There are 56,932 voters registered in the Telavi constituency, according to the Central Election Commission.

3 Million Tourists--Myth or Reality?

In an interview in Kviris Palitra the Economic Analyst, Levan Kalandadze responded to statements by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Vera Kobalia, regarding "3 million tourists coming to Georgia". According to the analyst this figure is highly exaggerated. If this number of tourists did enter Georgia, the outcome would not positively affect the economy. I wish we would have so many tourists as it is nice when tourism develops, however such a large number of tourists carries serious risks at the same time. I mean macroeconomic structures would be seriously damaged, causing inflation. He explained that when many tourists come into the country it results in price increases especially for basic services and food. If the state economy is not ready to satisfy the demands of mass tourism, inflation is inevitable. According to the analyst the threat is especially high in Georgia since the country is mainly dependant on imported products. "Not three million tourists--the state is not ready to serve even half this number! This sphere needs years to be refined; nothing can be done in a day.

Workers strike in Kutaisi

Rezonansi reports that laid-off workers of the Kutaisi Metallurgy Factory will hold a protest strike on September 2 . They demand reinstatement, claiming they were illegally dismissed.

According to the workers, conditions were unbearable in the factory--there were no toilets, dining room, or medical facilities. Wages were paid late and there were problems regarding holidays, sick leave and other administrative issues. The workers created a professional union within the factory which angered the owners and those who organized the union were fired. The leadership of the factory state that they are trying to improve the situation in the factory, however no statement regarding the dismissal of the workers has been made.