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Georgia: Detained ex-leader Saakashvili says 'freedom' at stake in local elections<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//10//01//mikheil-saakashvili-georgia-s-ex-president-says-he-returned-to-country-despite-arrest-thre/">Mikheil Saakashvili: Georgia's ex-president arrested after returning to country<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//22//georgia-is-still-a-long-way-off-showing-it-adheres-to-eu-values-view/">Georgia is still a long way off showing it adheres to EU values | View<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>\"The victory of the opposition especially in Tbilisi will pave the way to the snap early parliamentary elections in Georgia,\" said Nika Melia, UNM Chairman and candidate for mayor in Tbilisi.<\/p>\n<p>\"We\u2019ll have the snap early parliamentary elections in Georgia and through this victory the former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, of course, will be released from prison.\"<\/p>\n<p>Ahead of the election, the former president made an appeal from jail, calling on supporters to protest and \"save Georgia\" by turning out to vote. <\/p>\n<p>His return to the country on Friday in a bid to bolster the opposition was his first visit since his departure in 2014.<\/p>\n<p>Saakashvili was given a six-year prison term in his absence, in a case he says is politically motivated. The current president says she will not offer him a pardon.<\/p>\n<p>The political situation in Georgia has significantly deteriorated since the European Union helped broker an agreement between the two main parties last April, designed to put an end to the country&#039;s political crisis.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1633218867,"publishedAt":1633254174,"updatedAt":1633254178,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/10\/03\/georgia-local-elections-ruling-party-georgian-dream-leads-after-early-results","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/12\/18\/66\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_f557419e-db5b-5572-a944-979ff15c21aa-6121866.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Shakh Aivazov\/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"708"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"7925","slug":"municipal-elections","urlSafeValue":"municipal-elections","title":"Municipal elections","titleRaw":"Municipal elections"},{"id":"11394","slug":"mikheil-saakachvili","urlSafeValue":"mikheil-saakachvili","title":"Mikheil Saakachvili","titleRaw":"Mikheil Saakachvili"},{"id":"9417","slug":"political-crisis","urlSafeValue":"political-crisis","title":"Political crisis","titleRaw":"Political crisis"}],"related":[{"id":"1692568"},{"id":"1694614"},{"id":"1707414"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"related","count":"1"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/NW\/SU\/21\/10\/03\/en\/211003_NWSU_42878640_42879401_90000_114302_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"90000","filesizeBytes":"8846157","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/NW\/SU\/21\/10\/03\/en\/211003_NWSU_42878640_42879401_90000_114302_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"90000","filesizeBytes":"14797720","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x84m04s","youtubeId":"SxaOMY1y2Og"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"world","urlSafeValue":"world","title":"world news","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/world"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/10\/03\/georgia-local-elections-ruling-party-georgian-dream-leads-after-early-results","lastModified":1633254178},{"id":"1686300","cid":"6121038","versionId":"8","archive":0,"housenumber":"211002_WBSU_42872590","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"3"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia: Detained ex-leader Saakashvili says 'freedom' at stake in local elections","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Detained ex-leader Saakashvili says 'freedom' at stake in Georgia vote","titleListing2":"#Georgia local elections: Detained ex-leader #MikheilSaakashvili says 'freedom' at stake in Saturday's vote","leadin":"The former president's arrest has considerably raised the stakes in Saturday's vote, seen as a test for the increasingly unpopular ruling party Georgian Dream.","summary":"The former president's arrest has considerably raised the stakes in Saturday's vote, seen as a test for the increasingly unpopular ruling party Georgian Dream.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-detained-ex-leader-saakashvili-says-freedom-at-stake-in-local-elections","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Voters in Georgia went to the polls on Saturday in local elections that will have a crucial national impact, a day after the arrest of former president Mikheil Saakashvili on his return from exile. \n\nThe detention of the principal opposition leader has considerably raised the stakes in the vote, seen as a test for the ruling party Georgian Dream, increasingly unpopular in the south Caucasus nation. \n\n\"I want to ask you all to go to the elections so that not a single vote is lost,\" Saakashvili tweeted in English from prison on Saturday, posting a photo of a letter to his supporters. \"My freedom and, more importantly, the freedom of Georgia depends entirely on your actions and fighting ability.\" \n\nBefore his arrest on Friday, he called on supporters via a video to protest and \"save Georgia\" at the weekend's elections. He also urged them to gather on Sunday along a main route through Tbilisi, the capital. \n\nSaakashvili's attempts to rally Georgians could upend the ruling party's plans to secure dominance in Saturday's balloting for mayors and local assemblies. \n\nThe vote is widely regarded as a vote of confidence in the national government and could trigger early elections next year. \n\nAccording to latest opinion polls, more than half of the electorate stated they were undecided between Georgian Dream and the main opposition party the United National Movement (UNM), which was founded by Saakashvili. \n\nCasting his ballot on Saturday, the UNM leader Nika Melia said everyone who does not want \"injustice to continue\" should support the opposition with their vote. \n\n\"Those who do not want injustice to continue, those who do not want the oligarchical system to continue, those who do not like that the main basis of the government are so called criminal authorities, who at the same time have a tight partnership with state security services, those who do not want injustice to continue, will make the decision very easily,\" Melia told reporters. \n\nSaakashvili: 'I risked my life to return!' \n\n\nA charismatic, pro-Western reformer as much loved as loathed, Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. \n\nThe 53-year-old announced his return from Ukraine to the country he left in 2013 via Facebook, saying \"I risked my life and freedom to return!\". \n\nThe government had warned him that he would be arrested immediately if he returned as he was wanted for \"abuse of power\". In 2018 he was sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of contempt of court. Saakashvili argues the case against him is politically motivated. \n\nHis arrest was announced on Friday by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. According to reports in Georgian media, he is being held at Roustavi prison, near Tbilisi. \n\nIn power, Saakashvili became renowned for trying to fight Georgia's major problem with corruption. Whilst this made him popular, many Georgians thought he was too authoritarian. \n\n\u201cMany are asking today whether President is going to pardon Mikheil Saakashvili. The answer is one, simple and final - no and never!\u201d the current president, Salome Zourabichvili, told the nation before they voted. \n\nSince last year, Georgia has been plunged into a political crisis following the opposition's denunciation of massive fraud in parliamentary elections, narrowly won by the ruling party. \n\nThe local elections are being followed closely for any sign of democratic infringement by Georgian Dream in the nation well used to political instability. \n\nIn power since 2012, Georgian Dream, founded by the billionaire businessman and politician Bidzina Ivanishvili. The country's richest man, he has been accused by his critics of using criminal charges to silence his opponents as well as journalists . \n\nInterpol has refused Tbilisi's demands to publish a \"red notice\" \u2014 issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence \u2014 against Saakashvili. \n\nEU-Georgia agreement in doubt \n\n\nThe situation in Georgia has significantly deteriorated since the European Union helped broker an agreement between the two main parties last April, designed to put an end to the country's political crisis. \n\nIn an opinion article for Euronews the following month entitled \"Georgia's future is European\", President Zourabichvili and the European Council President Charles Michel celebrated \"reviving Georgia's image as a democratic anchor in the region\". \n\nBut in July, Georgian Dream withdrew from the deal because United National Movement hadn't signed onto it by then. The opposition party then signed this month, just before the polls. \n\nThe agreement stipulated that snap parliamentary elections should be called in 2022 if Georgian Dream receives less than 43 percent of all proportional votes in the local elections in the country's 64 municipalities. \n\nThe Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is leading an observer mission over Saturday's vote, concluded that parliamentary elections in October 2020 had been marred by \"widespread allegations of voter pressure\". Claims of fraud led the opposition to boycott the new parliament. \n\nCritics argue the Georgian government has continued to attack judicial independence. \n\nIn its 2021 report on Georgia , Human Rights Watch cited other areas of concern including \"threats to media freedom, disproportionately harsh drug policy, and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people\". \n\nIn July, demonstrators called for the president and prime minister to resign following the death of a journalist who was attacked and beaten by anti-LGBT protesters.","htmlText":"<p>Voters in Georgia went to the polls on Saturday in local elections that will have a crucial national impact, a day after the arrest of former president Mikheil Saakashvili on his return from exile.<\/p>\n<p>The detention of the principal opposition leader has considerably raised the stakes in the vote, seen as a test for the ruling party Georgian Dream, increasingly unpopular in the south Caucasus nation.<\/p>\n<p>\"I want to ask you all to go to the elections so that not a single vote is lost,\" Saakashvili tweeted in English from prison on Saturday, posting a photo of a letter to his supporters. \"My freedom and, more importantly, the freedom of Georgia depends entirely on your actions and fighting ability.\"<\/p>\n<p>Before his arrest on Friday, he called on supporters via a video to protest and \"save Georgia\" at the weekend&#039;s elections. He also urged them to gather on Sunday along a main route through Tbilisi, the capital.<\/p>\n<p>Saakashvili&#039;s attempts to rally Georgians could upend the ruling party&#039;s plans to secure dominance in Saturday&#039;s balloting for mayors and local assemblies.<\/p>\n<p>The vote is widely regarded as a vote of confidence in the national government and could trigger early elections next year.<\/p>\n<p>According to latest opinion polls, more than half of the electorate stated they were undecided between Georgian Dream and the main opposition party the United National Movement (UNM), which was founded by Saakashvili.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1444200520600760321\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Casting his ballot on Saturday, the UNM leader Nika Melia said everyone who does not want \"injustice to continue\" should support the opposition with their vote.<\/p>\n<p>\"Those who do not want injustice to continue, those who do not want the oligarchical system to continue, those who do not like that the main basis of the government are so called criminal authorities, who at the same time have a tight partnership with state security services, those who do not want injustice to continue, will make the decision very easily,\" Melia told reporters.<\/p>\n<h2>Saakashvili: 'I risked my life to return!'<\/h2><p>A charismatic, pro-Western reformer as much loved as loathed, Saakashvili was president of Georgia from 2004 to 2013.<\/p>\n<p>The 53-year-old announced his return from Ukraine to the country he left in 2013 via Facebook, saying \"I risked my life and freedom to return!\".<\/p>\n<p>The government had warned him that he would be arrested immediately if he returned as he was wanted for \"abuse of power\". In 2018 he was sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of contempt of court. Saakashvili argues the case against him is politically motivated.<\/p>\n<p>His arrest was announced on Friday by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. According to reports in Georgian media, he is being held at Roustavi prison, near Tbilisi.<\/p>\n<p>In power, Saakashvili became renowned for trying to fight Georgia&#039;s major problem with corruption. Whilst this made him popular, many Georgians thought he was too authoritarian.<\/p>\n<p>\u201cMany are asking today whether President is going to pardon Mikheil Saakashvili. The answer is one, simple and final - no and never!\u201d the current president, Salome Zourabichvili, told the nation before they voted.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"6117238,5904280\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//10//01//mikheil-saakashvili-georgia-s-ex-president-says-he-returned-to-country-despite-arrest-thre/">Mikheil Saakashvili: Georgia's ex-president arrested after returning to country<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//22//georgia-is-still-a-long-way-off-showing-it-adheres-to-eu-values-view/">Georgia is still a long way off showing it adheres to EU values | View<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Since last year, Georgia has been plunged into a political crisis following the opposition&#039;s denunciation of massive fraud in parliamentary elections, narrowly won by the ruling party.<\/p>\n<p>The local elections are being followed closely for any sign of democratic infringement by Georgian Dream in the nation well used to political instability.<\/p>\n<p>In power since 2012, Georgian Dream, founded by the billionaire businessman and politician Bidzina Ivanishvili. The country&#039;s richest man, he has been accused by his critics of using criminal charges to silence his opponents <strong><a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//12//georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death/">as well as journalists<\/a><\/strong>.<\/p>\n<p>Interpol has refused Tbilisi&#039;s demands to publish a \"red notice\" \u2014 issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence \u2014 against Saakashvili.<\/p>\n<h2>EU-Georgia agreement in doubt<\/h2><p>The situation in Georgia has significantly deteriorated since the European Union helped broker an <strong><a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//19//georgia-and-eu-annouce-political-agreement-exclusively-on-euronews/">agreement between the two main parties<\/a><\/strong> last April, designed to put an end to the country&#039;s political crisis.<\/p>\n<p>In an <strong><a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//19//georgia-s-future-is-european-view/">opinion article for Euronews<\/a><\/strong> the following month entitled \"Georgia&#039;s future is European\", President Zourabichvili and the European Council President Charles Michel celebrated \"reviving Georgia&#039;s image as a democratic anchor in the region\".<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5673742\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//19//georgia-and-eu-annouce-political-agreement-exclusively-on-euronews/">Georgia and EU jointly celebrate political agreement exclusively on Euronews<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>But in July, Georgian Dream withdrew from the deal because United National Movement hadn&#039;t signed onto it by then. The opposition party then signed this month, just before the polls.<\/p>\n<p>The agreement stipulated that snap parliamentary elections should be called in 2022 if Georgian Dream receives less than 43 percent of all proportional votes in the local elections in the country&#039;s 64 municipalities.<\/p>\n<p>The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is leading an observer mission over Saturday&#039;s vote, concluded that parliamentary elections in October 2020 had been marred by \"widespread allegations of voter pressure\". Claims of fraud led the opposition to boycott the new parliament.<\/p>\n<p>Critics argue the Georgian government has continued to attack judicial independence.<\/p>\n<p>In its <strong><a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.hrw.org//world-report//2021//country-chapters//georgia/">2021 report on Georgia<\/a><\/strong>, Human Rights Watch cited other areas of concern including \"threats to media freedom, disproportionately harsh drug policy, and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people\".<\/p>\n<p>In July, demonstrators called for the president and prime minister to resign following the <strong><a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//12//georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death/">death of a journalist<\/a><\/strong> who was attacked and beaten by anti-LGBT protesters.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1633169346,"publishedAt":1633172631,"updatedAt":1633194730,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/10\/02\/georgia-detained-ex-leader-saakashvili-says-freedom-at-stake-in-local-elections","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/12\/09\/36\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_16395e84-e79e-51f7-a5be-f568dea9e65c-6120936.jpg","altText":"Nika Melia, head of the United National Movement, speaks to the media after voting at a polling station during national municipal elections in Tbilisi, October 2, 2021.","caption":"Nika Melia, head of the United National Movement, speaks to the media after voting at a polling station during national municipal elections in Tbilisi, October 2, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo\/Zurab Tsertsvadze","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"683"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"11394","slug":"mikheil-saakachvili","urlSafeValue":"mikheil-saakachvili","title":"Mikheil Saakachvili","titleRaw":"Mikheil Saakachvili"},{"id":"4055","slug":"tbilisi","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi","titleRaw":"Tbilisi"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"11390","slug":"bidzina-ivanishvili","urlSafeValue":"bidzina-ivanishvili","title":"Bidzina Ivanishvili","titleRaw":"Bidzina Ivanishvili"},{"id":"15906","slug":"yerel-secim","urlSafeValue":"yerel-secim","title":"local election","titleRaw":"local election"}],"related":[{"id":"1687700"},{"id":"1692568"},{"id":"1694614"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"twitter","count":"1"},{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AFP, AP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/10\/02\/georgia-detained-ex-leader-saakashvili-says-freedom-at-stake-in-local-elections","lastModified":1633194730},{"id":"1685114","cid":"6117238","versionId":"5","archive":0,"housenumber":"211001_WBSU_42853383","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"3"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Mikheil Saakashvili: Georgia's ex-president arrested after returning to country","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia's ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili arrested upon return","titleListing2":"\"I risked my life and my freedom to return,\" Saakashvili said in a video posted on Facebook.","leadin":"The south Caucasus nation's ex-leader, detained upon his return from exile, has called for people to vote against the ruling party in this weekend's local elections.","summary":"The south Caucasus nation's ex-leader, detained upon his return from exile, has called for people to vote against the ruling party in this weekend's local elections.","keySentence":null,"url":"mikheil-saakashvili-georgia-s-ex-president-says-he-returned-to-country-despite-arrest-thre","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Georgia goes to the polls for crucial local elections on Saturday, amid aggravated political tensions the day after\u00a0 former president Mikheil Saakashvili was arrested hours after returning to the country from exile. \n\nHis arrest was announced by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. \n\nSaakashvili, 53, had said in a video posted on Facebook earlier in the day: \"I risked my life and freedom to return!\" \n\nThe politician, who said he was in the Georgian coastal city of Batumi, called for protests and for people to \"save Georgia\" at the weekend's elections. \n\n\"We all need to understand that voting for The Dream party will be the signature of the death penalty for Georgia. That's why on October 2, we should all go to the elections to save Georgia. And on October 3, from the morning of October 3, let's move from the whole of Georgia to protect the results of the elections,\" Saakashvili said. \n\nSaakashvili announced earlier this week that he planned to fly to Georgia for the weekend's local elections. \n\nBut Garibashvili said on Tuesday that if Saakashvili \"sets foot on Georgian soil, he will be immediately arrested and imprisoned.\" \n\nThe 53-year-old, who served as president from 2004 to 2013, has been accused by the Georgian judiciary of abuse of power. Saakashvili states that the case is political. \n\nThe founder of the main opposition United National Movement (UNM) party had been living in exile in Ukraine. \n\nGeorgia was plunged into a political crisis since last year when opposition parties claimed there was massive fraud in the parliamentary elections. \n\nIn May, European Council President Charles Michel brokered an exit agreement, but the Georgian Dream unilaterally pulled out after two months, drawing criticism from the EU and the US.","htmlText":"<p>Georgia goes to the polls for crucial local elections on Saturday, amid aggravated political tensions the day after former president Mikheil Saakashvili was arrested hours after returning to the country from exile.<\/p>\n<p>His arrest was announced by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.<\/p>\n<p>Saakashvili, 53, had said in a video posted on Facebook earlier in the day: \"I risked my life and freedom to return!\"<\/p>\n<p>The politician, who said he was in the Georgian coastal city of Batumi, called for protests and for people to \"save Georgia\" at the weekend&#039;s elections.<\/p>\n<p>\"We all need to understand that voting for The Dream party will be the signature of the death penalty for Georgia. That&#039;s why on October 2, we should all go to the elections to save Georgia. And on October 3, from the morning of October 3, let&#039;s move from the whole of Georgia to protect the results of the elections,\" Saakashvili said.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-freeform\nwidget--size-fullwidth\nwidget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <iframe src=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.facebook.com//plugins//video.php?height=476&href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FSaakashviliMikheil%2Fvideos%2F152343097033172%2F&show_text=false&width=476&t=0\%22 width=\"476\" height=\"476\" style=\"border:none;overflow:hidden\" scrolling=\"no\" frameborder=\"0\" allowfullscreen=\"true\" allow=\"autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowFullScreen=\"true\"><\/iframe> \n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Saakashvili announced earlier this week that he planned to fly to Georgia for the weekend&#039;s local elections.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"6110182\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//09//28//georgia-s-former-president-faces-arrest-if-he-returns-for-local-elections/">Georgia's former President faces arrest if he returns for local elections<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>But Garibashvili said on Tuesday that if Saakashvili \"sets foot on Georgian soil, he will be immediately arrested and imprisoned.\"<\/p>\n<p>The 53-year-old, who served as president from 2004 to 2013, has been accused by the Georgian judiciary of abuse of power. Saakashvili states that the case is political.<\/p>\n<p>The founder of the main opposition United National Movement (UNM) party had been living in exile in Ukraine.<\/p>\n<p>Georgia was plunged into a political crisis since last year when opposition parties claimed there was massive fraud in the parliamentary elections.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5576640,5421492\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//03//01//i-m-deeply-concerned-over-georgia-s-political-crisis-says-eu-chief-michel/">I'm deeply concerned over Georgia's political crisis, says EU chief Michel<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//04//20//opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis/">Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>In May, European Council President Charles Michel brokered an exit agreement, but the Georgian Dream unilaterally pulled out after two months, drawing criticism from the EU and the US.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1633071944,"publishedAt":1633075222,"updatedAt":1633159384,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/10\/01\/mikheil-saakashvili-georgia-s-ex-president-says-he-returned-to-country-despite-arrest-thre","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/11\/97\/72\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_128a2052-59e8-50c4-821b-d803017e7b63-6119772.jpg","altText":"Georgian Police officers escort former President Mikheil Saakashvili after he was arrested in Rustavi, Georgia, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.","caption":"Georgian Police officers escort former President Mikheil Saakashvili after he was arrested in Rustavi, Georgia, Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Georgian Interior Ministry Press Service via AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"757"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/11\/72\/38\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_e379c313-828a-5d8a-8047-7b06a644b968-6117238.jpg","altText":"FILE: Georgia's ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, greets his supporters upon his arrival at Boryspil Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 29, 2019.","caption":"FILE: Georgia's ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, greets his supporters upon his arrival at Boryspil Airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, May 29, 2019.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Efrem Lukatsky\/AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"4572","height":"3048"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"11394","slug":"mikheil-saakachvili","urlSafeValue":"mikheil-saakachvili","title":"Mikheil Saakachvili","titleRaw":"Mikheil Saakachvili"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"15906","slug":"yerel-secim","urlSafeValue":"yerel-secim","title":"local election","titleRaw":"local election"}],"related":[{"id":"1687700"},{"id":"1694614"},{"id":"1699048"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"html","count":"1"},{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews with AFP","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/10\/01\/mikheil-saakashvili-georgia-s-ex-president-says-he-returned-to-country-despite-arrest-thre","lastModified":1633159384},{"id":"1681578","cid":"6110182","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210928_WBSU_42810555","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"3"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia's former President faces arrest if he returns for local elections","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia's ex-President faces arrest if he returns for local elections","titleListing2":"Mikheil Saakashvili has been accused by the Georgian judiciary of abuse of power.","leadin":"Mikheil Saakashvili, who is based in Ukraine, says he plans to return to Georgia to help \"save the country\".","summary":"Mikheil Saakashvili, who is based in Ukraine, says he plans to return to Georgia to help \"save the country\".","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-s-former-president-faces-arrest-if-he-returns-for-local-elections","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Georgian authorities say they will arrest former President Mikheil Saakashvili if he returns to the country. \n\nSaakashvili announced on Monday that he planned to fly to Georgia for the weekend's local elections. \n\nThe 53-year-old, who served as president from 2004 to 2013, has been accused by the Georgian judiciary of abuse of power. \n\nThe founder of the main opposition United National Movement (UNM) party has been living in exile in Ukraine. \n\nHe states that the case is political and posted a photo on Facebook of a plane ticket to Tbilisi for Saturday night's vote. \n\n\"I will be in Tbilisi to protect your electoral choice with you,\" Saakashvili said in a video. \n\nHis potential return to Georgia is seen as a significant test for the country's ruling Georgian Dream party. \n\nBut Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili assured on Tuesday that if Saakashvili \"sets foot on Georgian soil, he will be immediately arrested and imprisoned\". \n\nGeorgia was plunged into a political crisis since last year when opposition parties claimed there was massive fraud in the parliamentary elections. \n\nIn May, European Council President Charles Michel brokered an exit agreement, but the Georgian Dream unilaterally pulled out after two months, drawing criticism from the EU and the US. \n\nIn his video message, Saakashvili insisted that the agreement must be respected, calling Saturday's local elections a \"referendum\" against the Georgian Dream.","htmlText":"<p>Georgian authorities say they will arrest former President Mikheil Saakashvili if he returns to the country.<\/p>\n<p>Saakashvili announced on Monday that he planned to fly to Georgia for the weekend&#039;s local elections.<\/p>\n<p>The 53-year-old, who served as president from 2004 to 2013, has been accused by the Georgian judiciary of abuse of power.<\/p>\n<p>The founder of the main opposition United National Movement (UNM) party has been living in exile in Ukraine.<\/p>\n<p>He states that the case is political and posted a photo on Facebook of a plane ticket to Tbilisi for Saturday night&#039;s vote.<\/p>\n<p>\"I will be in Tbilisi to protect your electoral choice with you,\" Saakashvili said in a video.<\/p>\n<p>His potential return to Georgia is seen as a significant test for the country&#039;s ruling Georgian Dream party.<\/p>\n<p>But Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili assured on Tuesday that if Saakashvili \"sets foot on Georgian soil, he will be immediately arrested and imprisoned\".<\/p>\n<p>Georgia was <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"Georgia&#039;s%20ruling%20party\"><strong>plunged into a political crisis since last year<\/strong><\/a> when opposition parties claimed there was massive fraud in the parliamentary elections.<\/p>\n<p>In May, European Council President Charles Michel brokered an exit agreement, but the Georgian Dream unilaterally pulled out after two months, drawing criticism from the EU and the US.<\/p>\n<p>In his video message, Saakashvili insisted that the agreement must be respected, calling Saturday&#039;s local elections a \"referendum\" against the Georgian Dream.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1632845772,"publishedAt":1632848843,"updatedAt":1632848846,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/09\/28\/georgia-s-former-president-faces-arrest-if-he-returns-for-local-elections","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/11\/01\/82\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_29359dbe-aa75-52ec-b3a3-a92de4d24c8e-6110182.jpg","altText":"Mikheil Saakashvili has been accused of abuse fo power.","caption":"Mikheil Saakashvili has been accused of abuse fo power.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo\/Czarek Sokolowski, File","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"4206","height":"2763"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"15906","slug":"yerel-secim","urlSafeValue":"yerel-secim","title":"local election","titleRaw":"local election"},{"id":"5004","slug":"president","urlSafeValue":"president","title":"President","titleRaw":"President"},{"id":"11394","slug":"mikheil-saakachvili","urlSafeValue":"mikheil-saakachvili","title":"Mikheil Saakachvili","titleRaw":"Mikheil Saakachvili"}],"related":[{"id":"1476968"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AFP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/09\/28\/georgia-s-former-president-faces-arrest-if-he-returns-for-local-elections","lastModified":1632848846},{"id":"1658394","cid":"6044756","versionId":"3","archive":0,"housenumber":"210924_FOSU_42502194","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"1","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"}],"status":2,"title":"Eco-tourism in Georgia, a boost for the economy and for the environment","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":null,"titleListing2":"Eco-tourism in Georgia, a boost for the economy and for the environment","leadin":"Georgia's Colchic rainforests and wetlands have just been recognised by UNESCO and added to its World Heritage List. The country is now looking to further protect the unique biodiversity of this area whilst boosting the economy with eco-tourism.","summary":"Georgia's Colchic rainforests and wetlands have just been recognised by UNESCO and added to its World Heritage List. The country is now looking to further protect the unique biodiversity of this area whilst boosting the economy with eco-tourism.","keySentence":null,"url":"eco-tourism-in-georgia-a-boost-for-the-economy-and-for-the-environment","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"20 million years ago, the Colchic ecosystems began developing on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. These ecosystems created a very special rainforest and wetlands that would make anyone visiting them feel like they were in the Amazon. Georgia, where much of the rainforest and wetlands are located, has long protected its fragile Colchic regions and now UNESCO has given them international recognition. \n\nA protected place \n\nTamar Khakhishvili, the deputy chair of the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia, told us a bit about this region. She explains that very ancient trees have survived since the glacial period in the Colchic rainforest \"and they have been continuously flourishing since the tertiary period.\" There are also lots of very rare, unique endemic and relic species there. \n\nThis area is also the only place where ancient rainforests and more recent wetlands coexist. Ispani mire is the perfect example of this and the only way to get around there is on snowshoes that are adapted to the wetlands. These shoes protect the white moss that covers the ground and stops your feet from sinking down. \n\nIspani mire, which is a Colchic peatland complex, has a unique composition and is made up of up to 80% water. Izolda Matchutadze, a scientist at the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, tells us that Ispani mire is comparable to a five-metre deep upside-down lake. \"It is covered with a blanket of this sphagnum moos. When we walk on it, it vibrates like a trampoline\", she adds. \n\nA boost for the economy \n\nIn Georgia, protecting biodiversity has turned out to be a win-win strategy both for the environment and for the economy. National authorities expect that the inscription of the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands on the World Heritage List will attract funds for nature conservation and more. \n\nTamar tells us that once they get funds for the development of protected areas, they will reinvest them into the social and economic development of rural areas. \"The local households will get our support in order to embark on business, to have guest houses and so on.\" \n\nA new tourist destination \n\nThree of the four new Georgian World heritage areas are located in the autonomous region of Ajara. Its capital Batumi is a four-season destination in itself. Tornike Rijvadze, the government chairman of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, sees being on UNESCO'S World Heritage list as an immense positive. He believes it will provide a unique opportunity for tourism in the area to become \"even more diversified\" and for his region to become even more attractive. He also sees it as a way to diversify the local economy. \n\nHigh above Batumi, the Kintrishi national park is already getting ready for more visitors to come. As the area is so wild, local tourism authorities are beginning to create trails and shelters for nature lovers. \n\nGeorgia is looking to increase the number of protected areas while opening up these unique ecosystems in a sustainable way.","htmlText":"<p>20 million years ago, the Colchic ecosystems began developing on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. These ecosystems created a very special rainforest and wetlands that would make anyone visiting them feel like they were in the Amazon. Georgia, where much of the rainforest and wetlands are located, has long protected its fragile <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////whc.unesco.org//en//list//1616///">Colchic regions and now UNESCO has given them international recognition.<\/a><\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1419661267183312896\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>A protected place<\/h2><p>Tamar Khakhishvili, the deputy chair of the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia, told us a bit about this region. She explains that very ancient trees have survived since the glacial period in the Colchic rainforest \"and they have been continuously flourishing since the tertiary period.\" There are also lots of very rare, unique endemic and relic species there.<\/p>\n<p>This area is also the only place where ancient rainforests and more recent wetlands coexist. Ispani mire is the perfect example of this and the only way to get around there is on snowshoes that are adapted to the wetlands. These shoes protect the white moss that covers the ground and stops your feet from sinking down.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-fade-in widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/808x454_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/202x113_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/266x149_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/404x227_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/534x300_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/606x340_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/808x454_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg 808w\" alt=\"euronews\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Special shoe attachments to walk on the Colchic wetlands<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">euronews<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Ispani mire, which is a Colchic peatland complex, has a unique composition and is made up of up to 80% water. Izolda Matchutadze, a scientist at the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, tells us that Ispani mire is comparable to a five-metre deep upside-down lake. \"It is covered with a blanket of this sphagnum moos. When we walk on it, it vibrates like a trampoline\", she adds.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-fade-in widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/808x454_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/202x113_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/266x149_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/404x227_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/534x300_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/606x340_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/808x454_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg 808w\" alt=\"euronews\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Scientist Izolda Matchutadze shows euronews reporter, Monica Pinna, the sphagnum moss<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">euronews<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>A boost for the economy<\/h2><p>In Georgia, protecting biodiversity has turned out to be a win-win strategy both for the environment and for the economy. National authorities expect that the inscription of the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands on the World Heritage List will attract funds for nature conservation and more.<\/p>\n<p>Tamar tells us that once they get funds for the development of protected areas, they will reinvest them into the social and economic development of rural areas. \"The local households will get our support in order to embark on business, to have guest houses and so on.\"<\/p>\n<h2>A new tourist destination<\/h2><p>Three of the four new Georgian World heritage areas are located in the autonomous region of Ajara. Its capital Batumi is a four-season destination in itself. Tornike Rijvadze, the government chairman of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, sees being on UNESCO&#039;S World Heritage list as an immense positive. He believes it will provide a unique opportunity for tourism in the area to become \"even more diversified\" and for his region to become even more attractive. He also sees it as a way to diversify the local economy.<\/p>\n<p>High above Batumi, the Kintrishi national park is already getting ready for more visitors to come. As the area is so wild, local tourism authorities are beginning to create trails and shelters for nature lovers.<\/p>\n<p>Georgia is looking to increase the number of protected areas while opening up these unique ecosystems in a sustainable way.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1631193075,"publishedAt":1632843778,"updatedAt":1632917161,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/next\/2021\/09\/28\/eco-tourism-in-georgia-a-boost-for-the-economy-and-for-the-environment","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/58\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_23306049-e3e8-5f4b-b8d6-c590e1c299eb-6044758.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_c2ccb727-bed0-5c55-bdef-74e99b13ea9b-6044756.jpg","altText":"Scientist Izolda Matchutadze shows euronews reporter, Monica Pinna, the sphagnum moss","caption":"Scientist Izolda Matchutadze shows euronews reporter, Monica Pinna, the sphagnum moss","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/56\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_b163e01d-da98-59c9-9e0a-4a2aa1b80c1b-6044756.jpg","altText":"Special shoe attachments to walk on the Colchic wetlands","caption":"Special shoe attachments to walk on the Colchic wetlands","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/04\/47\/58\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_0b8629ca-9987-54ac-a137-f36623ddc63b-6044758.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[{"urlSafeValue":"pinna","title":"Monica Pinna","twitter":"@_MonicaPinna"}],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"4221","slug":"tourism","urlSafeValue":"tourism","title":"Tourism","titleRaw":"Tourism"},{"id":"4365","slug":"ecology","urlSafeValue":"ecology","title":"Ecology","titleRaw":"Ecology"},{"id":"12639","slug":"travel","urlSafeValue":"travel","title":"Travel","titleRaw":"Travel"},{"id":"11296","slug":"sustainable-development","urlSafeValue":"sustainable-development","title":"Sustainable development","titleRaw":"Sustainable development"},{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"}],"related":[{"id":"1683464"}],"technicalTags":[{"path":"editorial.batumi2021"},{"path":"editorial"}],"widgets":[{"slug":"image","count":"2"},{"slug":"twitter","count":"1"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/FO\/SU\/21\/09\/24\/en\/210924_FOSU_42502194_42502195_240000_184645_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"240000","filesizeBytes":"23497414","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/FO\/SU\/21\/09\/24\/en\/210924_FOSU_42502194_42502195_240000_184645_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"240000","filesizeBytes":"39328849","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"youtubeId":"0TlNNxN2VCQ"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":null,"freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"focus","urlSafeValue":"focus","title":"focus","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/next\/next-series\/focus"},"vertical":"next","verticals":[{"id":"9","slug":"next","urlSafeValue":"next","title":"Next"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"9","slug":"next","urlSafeValue":"next","title":"Next"},"themes":[{"id":"next-series","urlSafeValue":"next-series","title":"Next Series","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/next\/next-series"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"47","urlSafeValue":"next-series","title":"Next-series"},"advertising":1,"advertisingData":{"startDate":1630505350,"endDate":2114348954,"type":"sponsored","isDfp":"0","slug":"Batumi-2021","title":"Batumi 2021","disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":"Batumi Georgia","sponsorName":"Batumi-2021","sponsorUrl":"https:\/\/www.visitbatumi.com","sponsorLogo":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/campaigns\/408\/180x113_cmsv2_5099a8d9-b5ee-5b5a-9499-b04ad5922682-408.jpg","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/next\/2021\/09\/28\/eco-tourism-in-georgia-a-boost-for-the-economy-and-for-the-environment","lastModified":1632917161},{"id":"1681310","cid":"6109518","versionId":"4","archive":0,"housenumber":"210924_FOWB_42803903","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"1","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"3"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Batumi: The gateway to UNESCO\u2019s new natural world heritage sites in Georgia","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":null,"titleListing2":"Batumi: The gateway to UNESCO\u2019s new natural world heritage sites in Georgia","leadin":"Tornike Rijvadze, the government chairman of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in Georgia tells of the region's plans to boost eco-tourism and make it the place to visit.","summary":"Tornike Rijvadze, the government chairman of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in Georgia tells of the region's plans to boost eco-tourism and make it the place to visit.","keySentence":null,"url":"batumi-the-gateway-to-unesco-s-new-natural-world-heritage-sites-in-georgia","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"The autonomous region of Ajara in Georgia has been particularly active in protecting the environment whilst also creating new eco-tourism opportunities. Its capital Batumi is the ideal gateway to reach the Georgian natural sites that UNESCO has recently added to its World Heritage list. \n\nNatural areas with international appeal \n\nAjara hosts three of the four parks and protected areas that have now received international recognition. The bustling seaside resort of Batumi is a year-round destination for tourists, according to the local government. Authorities have developed infrastructure in different domains to prolong the tourist season and investing in new ecotourism destinations is part of this strategy. \n\nEuronews talked to Tornike Rijvadze, the government chairman in the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, to find out more about the popular area. He describes Batumi as the perfect travel gateway for all sorts of travellers. \"We have a nice beach, which is very lively\", he adds and you can also enjoy the mountains. It is, he says, what all adds up to make Batumi a four-season destination. \n\nThe Autonomous Republic of Ajara has been doing a lot to build sports infrastructure, which Rijvadze argues \"is a very critical part of the overall tourism and overall economy\" in the area. The town for example is very proud to have a new UEFA category stadium. To Rijvadze, it goes a major way to putting the city on the global sports map. \n\nFuture developments \n\nThe Autonomous Republic of Ajara also has plans to expand in other municipalities that will allow ecotourism and sport tourism to be linked, \"where travellers can have a four-season experience\", Rijvadze adds. The idea is to keep up the Batumi reputation of being a world-class tourism and travel destination.","htmlText":"<p>The autonomous region of Ajara in Georgia has been particularly active in protecting the environment whilst also creating new eco-tourism opportunities. Its capital <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////investinbatumi.ge/">Batumi is the ideal gateway to reach the Georgian natural sites that UNESCO has recently added to its World Heritage list.<\/p>\n<h2>Natural areas with international appeal<\/h2><p>Ajara hosts three of the four parks and protected areas that have now received international recognition. The bustling seaside resort of Batumi is a year-round destination for tourists, according to the local government. Authorities have developed infrastructure in different domains to prolong the tourist season and investing in new ecotourism destinations is part of this strategy.<\/p>\n<p>Euronews talked to Tornike Rijvadze, the government chairman in the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, to find out more about the popular area. He describes Batumi as the perfect travel gateway for all sorts of travellers. \"We have a nice beach, which is very lively\", he adds and you can also enjoy the mountains. It is, he says, what all adds up to make Batumi a four-season destination.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-fade-in widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/808x454_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/202x113_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/266x149_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/404x227_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/534x300_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/606x340_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/808x454_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg 808w\" alt=\"euronews\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">&quot;We will continue to deliver&quot; - Tornike Rijvadze, Government Chairman, Autonomous Republic of Ajara<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">euronews<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The Autonomous Republic of Ajara has been doing a lot to build sports infrastructure, which Rijvadze argues \"is a very critical part of the overall tourism and overall economy\" in the area. The town for example is very proud to have a new UEFA category stadium. To Rijvadze, it goes a major way to putting the city on the global sports map.<\/p>\n<h2>Future developments<\/h2><p>The Autonomous Republic of Ajara also has plans to expand in other municipalities that will allow ecotourism and sport tourism to be linked, \"where travellers can have a four-season experience\", Rijvadze adds. The idea is to keep up the Batumi reputation of being a world-class tourism and travel destination.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1632827053,"publishedAt":1632836293,"updatedAt":1632917684,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/next\/2021\/09\/28\/batumi-the-gateway-to-unesco-s-new-natural-world-heritage-sites-in-georgia","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_ad495dac-a03e-55ed-aeff-4215f91777c5-6109518.jpg","altText":"Batumi, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, Georgia","caption":"Batumi, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, Georgia","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/06\/10\/95\/18\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_98102dbd-f028-54b0-a363-2ccc980aa54b-6109518.jpg","altText":"\"We will continue to deliver\" - Tornike Rijvadze, Government Chairman, Autonomous Republic of Ajara","caption":"\"We will continue to deliver\" - Tornike Rijvadze, Government Chairman, Autonomous Republic of Ajara","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[{"urlSafeValue":"pinna","title":"Monica Pinna","twitter":"@_MonicaPinna"}],"producers":[{"urlSafeValue":"pinna","title":"Monica Pinna","twitter":"@_MonicaPinna"}],"videoEditor":[{"urlSafeValue":"pinna","title":"Monica Pinna","twitter":"@_MonicaPinna"}]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"20506","slug":"eco-travel","urlSafeValue":"eco-travel","title":"Eco travel","titleRaw":"Eco travel"},{"id":"15948","slug":"unesco-kultur-miras-listesi","urlSafeValue":"unesco-kultur-miras-listesi","title":"UNESCO Cultural Heritage List","titleRaw":"UNESCO Cultural Heritage List"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[{"path":"editorial.batumi2021"},{"path":"editorial"}],"widgets":[{"slug":"image","count":"1"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/FO\/WB\/21\/09\/24\/en\/210924_FOWB_42803903_42803904_88920_135728_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"88920","filesizeBytes":"8721603","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/FO\/WB\/21\/09\/24\/en\/210924_FOWB_42803903_42803904_88920_135728_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"88920","filesizeBytes":"14599995","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x84j7a3","youtubeId":"wErjb-c83xY"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Monica Pinna","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"focus","urlSafeValue":"focus","title":"focus","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/next\/next-series\/focus"},"vertical":"next","verticals":[{"id":"9","slug":"next","urlSafeValue":"next","title":"Next"},{"id":"3","slug":"lifestyle","urlSafeValue":"lifestyle","title":"Lifestyle"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"9","slug":"next","urlSafeValue":"next","title":"Next"},"themes":[{"id":"next-series","urlSafeValue":"next-series","title":"Next Series","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/next\/next-series"},{"id":"culture","urlSafeValue":"culture","title":"Culture","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/next"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"47","urlSafeValue":"next-series","title":"Next-series"},"advertising":1,"advertisingData":{"startDate":1630505350,"endDate":2114348954,"type":"sponsored","isDfp":"0","slug":"Batumi-2021","title":"Batumi 2021","disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":"Batumi Georgia","sponsorName":"Batumi-2021","sponsorUrl":"https:\/\/www.visitbatumi.com","sponsorLogo":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/campaigns\/408\/180x113_cmsv2_5099a8d9-b5ee-5b5a-9499-b04ad5922682-408.jpg","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/next\/2021\/09\/28\/batumi-the-gateway-to-unesco-s-new-natural-world-heritage-sites-in-georgia","lastModified":1632917684},{"id":"1638782","cid":"5998634","versionId":"3","archive":0,"housenumber":"210820_E1SU_42209057","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"3"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"What is Kvirikoba? Rural Georgia\u2019s ancient festival of folklore and boulder tossing","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia\u2019s bizarre festival of boulder tossing is called Kvirikoba","titleListing2":"What is Kvirikoba? Rural Georgia\u2019s ancient festival of folklore and boulder tossing","leadin":"A look at religious rituals and some bizarre sporting traditions in Georgia's Svaneti region.","summary":"A look at religious rituals and some bizarre sporting traditions in Georgia's Svaneti region.","keySentence":null,"url":"what-is-kvirikoba-rural-georgia-s-ancient-festival-of-folklore-and-boulder-tossing","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Few places are as untamed as Georgia\u2019s Svaneti region where old and new gods still play a huge role in local life. \n\nStrung together by a series of remote villages deep in the Caucasus mountains, Georgia\u2019s highland region of Svaneti is steeped in folklore, ancient history and breathtaking scenery unlike anywhere else in the country. It has led to a distinct identity shaped by isolation, much of which is still preserved in amber with hundreds of khoshkebi (medieval stone towers) still standing, an archaic local tongue, and a reputation as the nation\u2019s fiercest warriors. \n\nThe seclusion of the region also means that religious folk traditions still prevail here with sacrificial bones adorning churches and ancient rites still very much practiced. Few times is it ever as apparent as the annual Kvirikoba festival. \n\nA festival steeped in folklore \n\nEach year, precisely 100 days after Easter, clusters of orthodox devotees from Svaneti and beyond wake at dawn to make the steep trek up to St. Kvirike, an 11th century church sitting high atop a hill in the wilds of Svaneti\u2019s Mestia municipality. \n\nAmong the crowd you\u2019ll find overeager children hopping along the exposed roots, determined elderly women trudging on, families with locked hands and plenty of burly, stern-faced men tugging at goats with makeshift bridles of rope strung around the horns. \n\nTheir vertical pilgrimage marks Kvirikoba, a religious holiday dedicated to the memory of Ivlite and Kvirike, a Christian mother and son who were tortured, martyred and later canonised for their steadfast beliefs. And it\u2019s at St. Kvirike Church in the tiny village of Kala, where the holiday is revered the most - and not just because of its 910-year-old frescoes and stunning hill top location. \n\nSt. Kvirike Church, also known as Lagurka (the holy place) in local Svan, is where you\u2019ll find the 1,000+ year old, ornate Shaliani icon, a relic of Christ regarded by many to have \u201cgreat miraculous power and healing abilities.\u201d Spending most of its time behind glass in Mestia\u2019s famous Ethnographic Museum, once a year, it\u2019s lent to St. Kvirike Church for Kvirikoba. \n\nAnd while Kvirikoba is undoubtedly a Christian holiday in today\u2019s world, Manana Khizanishvili, curator of Collections of History and Ethnography at the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, contends that \u201cits roots can be traced back much farther than that of Kvirike and Ivlite\u201d. \n\nIn ancient Svan times, this day was used for rituals of fertility and abundant harvest for the Svan god Kviria. \u201cIt\u2019s very likely that the modern holiday is an adaptation of the pagan Svan\u2019s fertility ritual,\u201d says the museum. \n\nToday\u2019s celebrations are proof that old habits die hard - more than a thousand years after a reluctant conversion to Christianity, Svans still perform sacrificial rites and retain a strong belief in pre-Christian superstitions. \n\nWishes, tithes and sacrifice \n\nAt the top, pilgrims make their way to the face of the church where the day\u2019s ritual begins. Slender golden twigs of beeswax and twine are on offer to make wishes by lighting them and adhering them to the stone wall. Meanwhile, worshippers flock together looking to lock in divine favour with offerings - hopefully resulting in the birth of a son in their family. \n\nAt the helm of it all is Elguja Khardziani, an intense man who belts out prayers and blessings for each believer with an offering. Some with cash tithes, jewellery, religious icons and other valuables - but a crowd favourite by far, is lemziri - a saucer sized ritual bread baked by the plenty in preparation for the special day. \n\nThe largest, and most notable offerings however, are the livestock that local families have raised specifically for the holy occasion. \n\nErratically steered by the horns, countless goats are led to the makeshift pulpit to be blessed before they\u2019ll be sacrificed as an offering to god, old and new, later in the evening. \n\nHealing from a rare illness \n\nTo Nino Andriasova, a Tbilisian and devout believer in the power of Kvirikoba, this is the time of year she looks forward to the most. She explains that \u201ceach year on Kvirikoba, I am reborn,\u201d and attributes her health to the miracle of Kvirikoba saying that some years back, a rare illness brought her to the brink of death and left her with less than 5% chance of survival. \n\n\u201cThey were preparing my mother for the death of her daughter. I prayed for ten days straight. I never stopped. I asked God - I promised God - that if he would let me live, I would make the climb to St. Kvirike Church and perform a sacrifice in his honour. After a month and a half in the hospital, I was released. I kept my promise and on Kvirikoba made a sacrifice on the hill of this church for God.\u201d \n\n\u201cThis church and this holiday are miraculous and all-powerful. I believe it deep in my heart,\u201d she says. \n\nAnother festival goer, Irakli Gurchiani from Etseri, a small village situated near the Enguri Dam, says that \u201ceven after 20 consecutive years worshipping and celebrating at Kvirikoba, I am still immensely fascinated and moved by the holiness of this day.\u201d \n\nTo Nino, Irakli, and so many others alike, Kvirikoba is a day of mysterious divine intervention. \n\nBell tolling and boulder tossing \n\nRather than a strict order of events, the afternoon consists of various traditions taking place simultaneously. On the other side of the church, lies an enormous bell where spectators huddle \u2018round. The bell isn't just for show, either. This megalith chime weighing nearly 300 pounds serves as a competition of strength with the winning prize being a lamb or goat of the victor\u2019s choosing. \n\nMen of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of Svaneti and beyond, step up to the challenge with most resulting in a beet-red face, wobbly knees and little budge from the bell. \n\nParallel to the bell are massive scattered rocks used for sajildao qvis atseva, or boulder tossing. Competitors need to lug the impossibly large, heavy boulder up and over their shoulder and toss it behind their back. Think of it as a form of shot put. \n\nThe victors are few and far between and of course, gain ultimate bragging rights. To 17-year-old Mose from Sakdari village in Lower Svaneti\u2019s Lentekhi, continuing the ancient tradition of sajildao qvis atseva, is his \u201cproudest honour\u201d. \n\nHe continues, \u201cIt may look like just a simple game, but it is a continuation of our ancestors and a way to prove our strength to God and our village.\u201d Mose describes his strength as a pillar of what it means to be Svan, and how it contributes to the history of the region. \n\n\u201cWe are resilient. We are fearless. We are mountain people who live by the laws of nature, who understand the wild-ness that is our homeland. It\u2019s why we have never been conquered by any of Georgia\u2019s enemies.\u201d \n\nIt\u2019s around this time that an enormous feast would usually be served to all. Manana explains that traditionally, a special type of bull known as uiskhi, is slaughtered at the start of the first prayer and liturgy before being cooked in an enormous cauldron throughout the celebration. When served, it\u2019s accompanied with traditional folk song and dance native to the region. \n\nThis year however, Kvirikoba looks a bit different. \n\nWith so few people in attendance due to the pandemic and recent flooding that rendered the village inaccessible by most, there aren\u2019t enough people to satisfy a traditional feast. However, plenty of lemziri are generously doled out instead.","htmlText":"<p>Few places are as untamed as Georgia\u2019s Svaneti region where old and new gods still play a huge role in local life.<\/p>\n<p>Strung together by a series of remote villages deep in the Caucasus mountains, Georgia\u2019s highland region of Svaneti is steeped in folklore, ancient history and breathtaking scenery unlike anywhere else in the country. It has led to a distinct identity shaped by isolation, much of which is still preserved in amber with hundreds of khoshkebi (medieval stone towers) still standing, an archaic local tongue, and a reputation as the nation\u2019s fiercest warriors.<\/p>\n<p>The seclusion of the region also means that religious folk traditions still prevail here with sacrificial bones adorning churches and ancient rites still very much practiced. Few times is it ever as apparent as the annual Kvirikoba festival.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-ease-in-up widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Canva\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Rural Svaneti region, Georgia<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Canva<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5453922\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//travel//2021//03//15//cheap-living-great-wifi-and-safe-surroundings-why-digital-nomads-are-flocking-to-georgia/">Cheap living, great WiFi and safe surroundings: Why digital nomads are flocking to Georgia<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>A festival steeped in folklore<\/h2><p>Each year, precisely 100 days after Easter, clusters of orthodox devotees from Svaneti and beyond wake at dawn to make the steep trek up to St. Kvirike, an 11th century church sitting high atop a hill in the wilds of Svaneti\u2019s Mestia municipality.<\/p>\n<p>Among the crowd you\u2019ll find overeager children hopping along the exposed roots, determined elderly women trudging on, families with locked hands and plenty of burly, stern-faced men tugging at goats with makeshift bridles of rope strung around the horns.<\/p>\n<p>Their vertical pilgrimage marks Kvirikoba, a religious holiday dedicated to the memory of Ivlite and Kvirike, a Christian mother and son who were tortured, martyred and later canonised for their steadfast beliefs. And it\u2019s at St. Kvirike Church in the tiny village of Kala, where the holiday is revered the most - and not just because of its 910-year-old frescoes and stunning hill top location.<\/p>\n<p>St. Kvirike Church, also known as Lagurka (the holy place) in local Svan, is where you\u2019ll find the 1,000+ year old, ornate Shaliani icon, a relic of Christ regarded by many to have \u201cgreat miraculous power and healing abilities.\u201d Spending most of its time behind glass in Mestia\u2019s famous Ethnographic Museum, once a year, it\u2019s lent to St. Kvirike Church for Kvirikoba.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-ease-in-up widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Melanie Hamilton\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">In ancient Svan times, this day was used for rituals of fertility and abundant harvest for the Svan god Kviria.<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Melanie Hamilton<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>And while Kvirikoba is undoubtedly a Christian holiday in today\u2019s world, Manana Khizanishvili, curator of Collections of History and Ethnography at the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi, contends that \u201cits roots can be traced back much farther than that of Kvirike and Ivlite\u201d.<\/p>\n<p>In ancient Svan times, this day was used for rituals of fertility and abundant harvest for the Svan god Kviria. \u201cIt\u2019s very likely that the modern holiday is an adaptation of the pagan Svan\u2019s fertility ritual,\u201d says the museum.<\/p>\n<p>Today\u2019s celebrations are proof that old habits die hard - more than a thousand years after a reluctant conversion to Christianity, Svans still perform sacrificial rites and retain a strong belief in pre-Christian superstitions.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-ease-in-up widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Melanie Hamilton\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Kvirikoba is a religious festival.<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Melanie Hamilton<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5996602,5992224\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//travel//2021//08//16//meet-the-22-year-old-british-student-stuck-in-afghanistan-i-ve-bitten-off-more-than-i-can-/">Meet the 22-year-old British student stuck in Afghanistan: \u2018I\u2019ve bitten off more than I can chew\u2019<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//travel//2021//08//19//travel-restrictions-are-fake-covid-tests-cheating-the-system/">Thinking of travelling on a fake COVID test? You might think again after reading this<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Wishes, tithes and sacrifice<\/h2><p>At the top, pilgrims make their way to the face of the church where the day\u2019s ritual begins. Slender golden twigs of beeswax and twine are on offer to make wishes by lighting them and adhering them to the stone wall. Meanwhile, worshippers flock together looking to lock in divine favour with offerings - hopefully resulting in the birth of a son in their family.<\/p>\n<p>At the helm of it all is Elguja Khardziani, an intense man who belts out prayers and blessings for each believer with an offering. Some with cash tithes, jewellery, religious icons and other valuables - but a crowd favourite by far, is lemziri - a saucer sized ritual bread baked by the plenty in preparation for the special day.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-quotation\n widget--size-fullwidth\n widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__content\">\n <blockquote class=\"widget__quote\">\n <span class=\"widget__quoteText\">Countless goats are led to the makeshift pulpit to be blessed before they\u2019ll be sacrificed as an offering to god.<\/span>\n <\/blockquote>\n <cite class=\"widget__author\">\n <\/cite>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The largest, and most notable offerings however, are the livestock that local families have raised specifically for the holy occasion.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-fade-in widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Melanie Hamilton\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Goats are regarded as a sacrifice to God<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Melanie Hamilton<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Erratically steered by the horns, countless goats are led to the makeshift pulpit to be blessed before they\u2019ll be sacrificed as an offering to god, old and new, later in the evening.<\/p>\n<h2>Healing from a rare illness<\/h2><p>To Nino Andriasova, a Tbilisian and devout believer in the power of Kvirikoba, this is the time of year she looks forward to the most. She explains that \u201ceach year on Kvirikoba, I am reborn,\u201d and attributes her health to the miracle of Kvirikoba saying that some years back, a rare illness brought her to the brink of death and left her with less than 5% chance of survival.<\/p>\n<p>\u201cThey were preparing my mother for the death of her daughter. I prayed for ten days straight. I never stopped. I asked God - I promised God - that if he would let me live, I would make the climb to St. Kvirike Church and perform a sacrifice in his honour. After a month and a half in the hospital, I was released. I kept my promise and on Kvirikoba made a sacrifice on the hill of this church for God.\u201d<\/p>\n<p>\u201cThis church and this holiday are miraculous and all-powerful. I believe it deep in my heart,\u201d she says.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-quotation\n widget--size-fullwidth\n widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__content\">\n <blockquote class=\"widget__quote\">\n <span class=\"widget__quoteText\">This church and this holiday are miraculous and all-powerful. I believe it deep in my heart.<\/span>\n <\/blockquote>\n <cite class=\"widget__author\">\n <\/cite>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-ease-in-up widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Melanie Hamilton\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Many view the festival as &quot;miraculous and all-powerful&quot;.<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Melanie Hamilton<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Another festival goer, Irakli Gurchiani from Etseri, a small village situated near the Enguri Dam, says that \u201ceven after 20 consecutive years worshipping and celebrating at Kvirikoba, I am still immensely fascinated and moved by the holiness of this day.\u201d<\/p>\n<p>To Nino, Irakli, and so many others alike, Kvirikoba is a day of mysterious divine intervention.<\/p>\n<h2>Bell tolling and boulder tossing<\/h2><p>Rather than a strict order of events, the afternoon consists of various traditions taking place simultaneously. On the other side of the church, lies an enormous bell where spectators huddle \u2018round. The bell isn&#039;t just for show, either. This megalith chime weighing nearly 300 pounds serves as a competition of strength with the winning prize being a lamb or goat of the victor\u2019s choosing.<\/p>\n<p>Men of all shapes and sizes, from all corners of Svaneti and beyond, step up to the challenge with most resulting in a beet-red face, wobbly knees and little budge from the bell.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-quotation\n widget--size-fullwidth\n widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__content\">\n <blockquote class=\"widget__quote\">\n <span class=\"widget__quoteText\">We are resilient. We are fearless. We are mountain people who live by the laws of nature.<\/span>\n <\/blockquote>\n <cite class=\"widget__author\">\n <\/cite>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Parallel to the bell are massive scattered rocks used for sajildao qvis atseva, or boulder tossing. Competitors need to lug the impossibly large, heavy boulder up and over their shoulder and toss it behind their back. Think of it as a form of shot put.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-ease-in-up widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Melanie Hamilton\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Boulder tossing is a longstanding tradition<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Melanie Hamilton<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The victors are few and far between and of course, gain ultimate bragging rights. To 17-year-old Mose from Sakdari village in Lower Svaneti\u2019s Lentekhi, continuing the ancient tradition of sajildao qvis atseva, is his \u201cproudest honour\u201d.<\/p>\n<p>He continues, \u201cIt may look like just a simple game, but it is a continuation of our ancestors and a way to prove our strength to God and our village.\u201d Mose describes his strength as a pillar of what it means to be Svan, and how it contributes to the history of the region.<\/p>\n<p>\u201cWe are resilient. We are fearless. We are mountain people who live by the laws of nature, who understand the wild-ness that is our homeland. It\u2019s why we have never been conquered by any of Georgia\u2019s enemies.\u201d<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-ease-in-up widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.5625\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/202x113_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/266x149_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/404x227_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/534x300_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/606x340_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/808x454_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Melanie Hamilton\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Bell tolling at the festival<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Melanie Hamilton<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>It\u2019s around this time that an enormous feast would usually be served to all. Manana explains that traditionally, a special type of bull known as uiskhi, is slaughtered at the start of the first prayer and liturgy before being cooked in an enormous cauldron throughout the celebration. When served, it\u2019s accompanied with traditional folk song and dance native to the region.<\/p>\n<p>This year however, Kvirikoba looks a bit different.<\/p>\n<p>With so few people in attendance due to the pandemic and recent flooding that rendered the village inaccessible by most, there aren\u2019t enough people to satisfy a traditional feast. However, plenty of lemziri are generously doled out instead.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1629461045,"publishedAt":1629617555,"updatedAt":1631029074,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/travel\/2021\/08\/22\/what-is-kvirikoba-rural-georgia-s-ancient-festival-of-folklore-and-boulder-tossing","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_f5c704b0-3a5b-56b9-b872-5fcf6d5df61d-5998634.jpg","altText":"Kvirikoba festival of boulder tossing in rural Georgia","caption":"Kvirikoba festival of boulder tossing in rural Georgia","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_0ea9e5dc-671f-5817-bb2a-8eb3ae02a59f-5998634.jpg","altText":"Bell tolling at the festival","caption":"Bell tolling at the festival","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_d4629e97-8b7d-5e67-a4be-1ddb5dde2272-5998634.jpg","altText":"Boulder tossing is a longstanding tradition","caption":"Boulder tossing is a longstanding tradition","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_bd7ba965-158c-5419-8c29-52b534aab4db-5998634.jpg","altText":"Many view the festival as \"miraculous and all-powerful\".","caption":"Many view the festival as \"miraculous and all-powerful\".","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_f899b9e1-1189-51bf-b767-4f97927db85f-5998634.jpg","altText":"Goats are regarded as a sacrifice to God","caption":"Goats are regarded as a sacrifice to God","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_0ff4b0a1-44d2-5581-a8f9-a1c8cf755351-5998634.jpg","altText":"Kvirikoba is a religious festival.","caption":"Kvirikoba is a religious festival.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_284e971e-9e90-5e70-afe1-ac20c27c7a96-5998634.jpg","altText":"In ancient Svan times, this day was used for rituals of fertility and abundant harvest for the Svan god Kviria.","caption":"In ancient Svan times, this day was used for rituals of fertility and abundant harvest for the Svan god Kviria.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_5ad11b18-433e-5e1a-bf33-48e6898267ba-5998634.jpg","altText":"Rural Svaneti region, Georgia","caption":"Rural Svaneti region, Georgia","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Canva","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/99\/86\/34\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_ee4aa6b5-a712-5dac-99bf-6b392d00f86e-5998634.jpg","altText":"The rural Svaneti region, Georgia","caption":"The rural Svaneti region, Georgia","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Melanie Hamilton","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"378","slug":"religion","urlSafeValue":"religion","title":"Religion","titleRaw":"Religion"},{"id":"9499","slug":"traditional-celebrations","urlSafeValue":"traditional-celebrations","title":"Traditional celebrations","titleRaw":"Traditional 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Hamilton","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"experiences","urlSafeValue":"experiences","title":"Experiences","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/travel\/experiences\/experiences"},"vertical":"travel","verticals":[{"id":"7","slug":"travel","urlSafeValue":"travel","title":"Travel"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"7","slug":"travel","urlSafeValue":"travel","title":"Travel"},"themes":[{"id":"experiences","urlSafeValue":"experiences","title":"Experiences","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/travel\/experiences"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"29","urlSafeValue":"experiences","title":"Experiences"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/travel\/2021\/08\/22\/what-is-kvirikoba-rural-georgia-s-ancient-festival-of-folklore-and-boulder-tossing","lastModified":1631029074},{"id":"1608038","cid":"5910756","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210724_WBSU_41821657","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"US donates half a million Pfizer vaccine doses to Georgia","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"US donates half a million Pfizer vaccine doses to Georgia","titleListing2":"Half a million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia early on Saturday.","leadin":"Half a million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia early on Saturday.","summary":"Half a million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia early on Saturday.","keySentence":null,"url":"us-donates-half-a-million-pfizer-vaccine-doses-to-georgia","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"The US has donated half a million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to Georgia, which arrived in the capital early on Saturday. \n\n\nThe shipment was met at the airport in Tbilisi by the US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, and the Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili. \n\nDegnan said it was a sign of America's friendship towards the people of Georgia, a former Soviet republic to the south of Russia. \n\n\u201cWe are very pleased to be able to donate this life-saving vaccine as part of our strategic partnership,\u201d she said. \n\n\u201cThe United States has supported the efforts to protect the health and safety of Georgians since the very beginning of this pandemic, and now we are able to provide the only thing that will really combat and contain this global pandemic, and that is a safe and effective vaccine.\" \n\nGeorgia's prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, expressed his gratitude to US President Joe Biden. \n\nGeorgia has registered more than 395,000 COVID-19 infections with over 5,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. \n\nFewer than 4% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.","htmlText":"<p>The US has donated half a million doses of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to Georgia, which arrived in the capital early on Saturday. <\/p>\n<p>The shipment was met at the airport in Tbilisi by the US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan, and the Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili.<\/p>\n<p>Degnan said it was a sign of America&#039;s friendship towards the people of Georgia, a former Soviet republic to the south of Russia.<\/p>\n<p>\u201cWe are very pleased to be able to donate this life-saving vaccine as part of our strategic partnership,\u201d she said.<\/p>\n<p>\u201cThe United States has supported the efforts to protect the health and safety of Georgians since the very beginning of this pandemic, and now we are able to provide the only thing that will really combat and contain this global pandemic, and that is a safe and effective vaccine.\"<\/p>\n<p>Georgia&#039;s prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, expressed his gratitude to US President Joe Biden.<\/p>\n<p>Georgia has registered more than 395,000 COVID-19 infections with over 5,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.<\/p>\n<p>Fewer than 4% of the population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1627114795,"publishedAt":1627115406,"updatedAt":1627115436,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/07\/24\/us-donates-half-a-million-pfizer-vaccine-doses-to-georgia","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/91\/07\/56\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_171c8f4a-45e7-5dea-9002-7b8df661835a-5910756.jpg","altText":"The Pfizer shipment arrives in Tbilisi","caption":"The Pfizer shipment arrives in Tbilisi","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"13363","slug":"united-states","urlSafeValue":"united-states","title":"United States","titleRaw":"United 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vaccine"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/07\/24\/us-donates-half-a-million-pfizer-vaccine-doses-to-georgia","lastModified":1627115436},{"id":"1605056","cid":"5904280","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210722_WBSU_41793818","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia is still a long way off showing it adheres to EU values | View","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia is still a long way off showing it adheres to EU values | View","titleListing2":"Georgia is still a long way off showing it adheres to EU values, argues @maryhoneyball","leadin":"\"The recent violence in Tbilisi against a planned gay pride parade and some journalists reporting the event, one of whom has now died, show just how far Georgia still needs to go to adopt EU and UK values.\"","summary":"\"The recent violence in Tbilisi against a planned gay pride parade and some journalists reporting the event, one of whom has now died, show just how far Georgia still needs to go to adopt EU and UK values.\"","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-is-still-a-long-way-off-showing-it-adheres-to-eu-values-view","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Hungary and Poland have been slammed by the European Commission for their defiance of the so-called rule of law.\u00a0 \n\n\nA report released this week examines the justice system, media freedom and institutional checks and balances in all 27 EU member states. \n\nThe Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has been particularly scrutinised for his bill to ban the depiction of LGBTI+ people in schools and the media. \n\nPoland, meanwhile, has been criticised over its reforms that critics say reduce the independence of its judiciary.\u00a0 \n\nBut the EU would be well-advised to include Georgia, an aspiring EU member bidding for membership in 2024, in its current deliberations on the rule of law.\u00a0 \n\nGeorgia has long sought a close relationship with Europe. It is currently in an association agreement with the EU and seeks to join NATO.\u00a0 \n\nBut the recent violence in Tbilisi against a planned gay pride parade and some journalists reporting the event, one of whom has now died, show just how far Georgia still needs to go to adopt EU and UK values.\u00a0 \n\nLast Thursday, the embassies of EU member countries in Tiblisi issued a joint statement decrying the violence against LGBT activists and other negative developments. \n\nIn September, the European Parliament called on the authorities to \u201crefrain from pursuing politically-motivated cases\u201d against the opposition [in Georgia] and to implement long-overdue reforms to its judiciary.\u00a0 \n\nThis has been generally ignored by the Georgian government, which has continued to influence judicial cases and recently rushed through the appointment of supreme court justices, contrary to an EU-mediated deal between the government and opposition.\u00a0 \n\nOnly 2% of Georgians fully trust the courts, a perception borne out by its 80th place in the World Economic Forum judicial independence ranking. Amnesty International, likewise, highlights that \u201cconcerns remained over politically motivated prosecutions\u201d. \n\nThough Georgia has doubtless made significant progress in the past fifteen years, and stands out amongst other countries in the region, it is clear that some old habits have been harder to kick than others.\u00a0 \n\nDuring last November\u2019s election, international observers highlighted \u201cwidespread allegations of voter pressure\u201d and a \u201cblurring of the border between the ruling party and the state\u201d. The opposition leader Nika Melia was later arrested, and the opposition was only persuaded to take up its seats after months of mediation by the EU, who ended up paying Melia\u2019s bail. There is now increasing concern that similar abuses will occur during the national elections due to be held this October. \n\nRepression extends to the media and to businesses that don\u2019t maintain sufficiently close relations with the government. Journalists and opposition outlets are regularly under direct and indirect political pressure. The violence against journalists covering the gay pride parade is just the latest example, coming after severe infringements of the editorial independence of outlets like Mtavari Arkhi and Adjara TV, threatened by politically motivated investigations and firings of senior staff.\u00a0 \n\nIn a further censure that was roundly ignored, the Council of Europe, of which the UK remains a member, recently issued a report through the Venice Commission decrying new laws in Georgia allowing the government to take over electronic communications companies that don\u2019t adhere to its wishes. Despite widespread protests about the infringement of media and business freedoms, this power has already been applied in the case of the network provider Caucasus Online. \n\nThe vast majority of Georgians support EU membership and are generally outward-looking. But the population is also very much under the spell of the Orthodox Church, which holds retrenched, reactionary views, and is opposed to Georgia\u2019s western trajectory. The church is closely linked with its Russian counterpart, a country where being gay is effectively illegal. In general, Russian influence remains an ongoing problem for Georgia. Though he later denounced the attacks on journalists, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also underlined that a gay pride parade was \u201cunacceptable for a large segment of the Georgian society\u201d. \n\nPublic trust in Georgia\u2019s democracy and political institutions remains extremely low. Religious institutions conversely enjoy the greatest public support, at 84%. This represents the two historic hangovers that Georgia has to overcome if it still wants to find a closer relationship with Europe. The political class has to show that it can adhere to European values of judicial independence and democracy, while also detaching itself from the oftentimes reactionary attitudes of the church. While the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it does remain a member of NATO and the Council of Europe, and as such has a role to play in encouraging urgent reforms. \n\nMary Honeyball was a Labour MEP from 2000 to 2019, where she was vice-chair of the women's rights and gender equality committee. She regularly writes and campaigns on human rights in the context of women\u2019s rights, religion, and politics.","htmlText":"<p>Hungary and Poland <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//20//judicial-independence-is-a-concern-in-some-eu-countries-says-brussels/">have been slammed by the European Commission<\/strong><\/a> for their defiance of the so-called rule of law. <\/p>\n<p>A report released this week examines the justice system, media freedom and institutional checks and balances in all 27 EU member states.<\/p>\n<p>The Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has been particularly scrutinised for his bill to ban the depiction of LGBTI+ people in schools and the media.<\/p>\n<p>Poland, meanwhile, has been criticised over its reforms that critics say reduce the independence of its judiciary. <\/p>\n<p>But the EU would be well-advised to include Georgia, an aspiring EU member bidding for membership in 2024, in its current deliberations on the rule of law. <\/p>\n<p>Georgia has long sought a close relationship with Europe. It is currently in an association agreement with the EU and seeks to join NATO. <\/p>\n<p>But <strong><a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//12//georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death/">the recent violence in Tbilisi<\/a><\/strong> against a planned gay pride parade and some journalists reporting the event, one of whom has now died, show just how far Georgia still needs to go to adopt EU and UK values. <\/p>\n<p>Last Thursday, the embassies of EU member countries in Tiblisi issued a joint statement decrying the violence against LGBT activists and other negative developments.<\/p>\n<p>In September, the European Parliament called on the authorities to \u201crefrain from pursuing politically-motivated cases\u201d against the opposition [in Georgia] and to implement long-overdue reforms to its judiciary. <\/p>\n<p>This has been generally ignored by the Georgian government, which has continued to influence judicial cases and recently rushed through the appointment of supreme court justices, contrary to an EU-mediated deal between the government and opposition. <\/p>\n<p>Only 2% of Georgians fully trust the courts, a perception borne out by its 80th place in the World Economic Forum judicial independence ranking. Amnesty International, likewise, highlights that \u201cconcerns remained over politically motivated prosecutions\u201d.<\/p>\n<p>Though Georgia has doubtless made significant progress in the past fifteen years, and stands out amongst other countries in the region, it is clear that some old habits have been harder to kick than others. <\/p>\n<p>During last November\u2019s election, international observers highlighted \u201cwidespread allegations of voter pressure\u201d and a \u201cblurring of the border between the ruling party and the state\u201d. The opposition leader Nika Melia was later arrested, and the opposition was only persuaded to take up its seats after months of mediation by the EU, who ended up paying Melia\u2019s bail. There is now increasing concern that similar abuses will occur during the national elections due to be held this October.<\/p>\n<p>Repression extends to the media and to businesses that don\u2019t maintain sufficiently close relations with the government. Journalists and opposition outlets are regularly under direct and indirect political pressure. The violence against journalists covering the gay pride parade is just the latest example, coming after severe infringements of the editorial independence of outlets like Mtavari Arkhi and Adjara TV, threatened by politically motivated investigations and firings of senior staff. <\/p>\n<p>In a further censure that was roundly ignored, the Council of Europe, of which the UK remains a member, recently issued a report through the Venice Commission decrying new laws in Georgia allowing the government to take over electronic communications companies that don\u2019t adhere to its wishes. Despite widespread protests about the infringement of media and business freedoms, this power has already been applied in the case of the network provider Caucasus Online.<\/p>\n<p>The vast majority of Georgians support EU membership and are generally outward-looking. But the population is also very much under the spell of the Orthodox Church, which holds retrenched, reactionary views, and is opposed to Georgia\u2019s western trajectory. The church is closely linked with its Russian counterpart, a country where being gay is effectively illegal. In general, Russian influence remains an ongoing problem for Georgia. Though he later denounced the attacks on journalists, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili also underlined that a gay pride parade was \u201cunacceptable for a large segment of the Georgian society\u201d.<\/p>\n<p>Public trust in Georgia\u2019s democracy and political institutions remains extremely low. Religious institutions conversely enjoy the greatest public support, at 84%. This represents the two historic hangovers that Georgia has to overcome if it still wants to find a closer relationship with Europe. The political class has to show that it can adhere to European values of judicial independence and democracy, while also detaching itself from the oftentimes reactionary attitudes of the church. While the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it does remain a member of NATO and the Council of Europe, and as such has a role to play in encouraging urgent reforms.<\/p>\n<p><em>Mary Honeyball was a Labour MEP from 2000 to 2019, where she was vice-chair of the women&#039;s rights and gender equality committee. She regularly writes and campaigns on human rights in the context of women\u2019s rights, religion, and politics.<\/em><\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1626958066,"publishedAt":1626983287,"updatedAt":1626983291,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/07\/22\/georgia-is-still-a-long-way-off-showing-it-adheres-to-eu-values-view","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/90\/42\/80\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_d81bf5a6-e57e-5697-bed3-05f638cafb06-5904280.jpg","altText":"Opponents of the march wave a Georgian national flag as they block off the capital's main avenue to an LGBT march in Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, July 5, 2021.","caption":"Opponents of the march wave a Georgian national flag as they block off the capital's main avenue to an LGBT march in Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, July 5, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Credit: AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"683"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"93","slug":"eu-enlargement","urlSafeValue":"eu-enlargement","title":"EU Enlargement","titleRaw":"EU Enlargement"},{"id":"21168","slug":"rule-of-law","urlSafeValue":"rule-of-law","title":"rule of law","titleRaw":"rule of law"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Mary Honeyball","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"view","urlSafeValue":"view","title":"View","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/view"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/07\/22\/georgia-is-still-a-long-way-off-showing-it-adheres-to-eu-values-view","lastModified":1626983291},{"id":"1593598","cid":"5873476","versionId":"2","archive":0,"housenumber":"210713_WBSU_41658671","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Tributes paid to Georgian journalist who died after beating at anti-LGBT protest","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Tributes paid to Georgian journalist who died after beating","titleListing2":"Alexander Lachkarava was beaten during an anti-LGBT march last week and suffered multiple facial fractures.","leadin":"Hundreds of journalists gathered in Georgia to pay tribute to a cameraman who died after being beaten last week by far-right activists.","summary":"Hundreds of journalists gathered in Georgia to pay tribute to a cameraman who died after being beaten last week by far-right activists.","keySentence":null,"url":"tributes-paid-to-georgian-journalist-who-died-after-beating-at-anti-lgbt-protest","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Hundreds of journalists have gathered in Georgia to pay tribute to a cameraman who died after being beaten last week during an anti-LGBT march. \n\nAlexander Lachkarava was assaulted by far-right activists on 5 July on the sidelines of the protest and suffered multiple facial fractures. \n\nThe 37-year-old was dead in his bed on Sunday, according to Pirveli TV, the channel he worked for. \n\nThe NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) stated that his death was \"a calamitous turn for freedom of information\" in Georgia. \n\nMore than fifty journalists were attacked at the anti-LGBT demonstrations last week in the capital city, Tbilisi. The rallies forced organisers of the city's Gay Pride parade to cancel the event for fear of the safety of participants. \n\nOn Tuesday, a crowd gathered outside Lachkarava's home before his funeral on Tuesday, and his coffin was carried to applause through a line of journalists, with their cameras pointing to the ground in mourning. \n\n\"The government has always tried to stifle the independent press,\" said Eka Michveladze, a journalist with Pirveli TV, at the televised funeral. \n\n\"We are mourning the death of a colleague today, but tomorrow everyone will know the strength of our independent media,\" added Vakho Sanaia, a reporter for Formula TV. \n\nFour independent television stations in the country also suspended their broadcasts for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest. \n\n\"Garibashvili must resign. All those who attacked journalists on July 5 must be prosecuted,\" they demanded in identical statements on their Facebook pages. \n\nThe Georgian authorities have promised a prompt investigation into the death of Alexander Lachkarava, calling it an \"incredible tragedy\". \n\nBut RSF has accused the government of \"guilty passivity\" in the face of the violence. \n\nAfter the death of Lachkarava, thousands of Georgians demonstrated to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. \n\nThe Georgian PM has come under fire from both the opposition and human rights activists for taking a stance against the LGBT march, calling it \"unacceptable to a large part of society\". \n\nDuring a stormy session in parliament on Monday, opposition MPs came to blows as they called for Garibashvili to resign. \n\nTwelve people were also detained after eggs and paint were thrown at the headquarters of the ruling Georgian Dream party. \n\nThe European Union and the United States has condemned last week's attacks on journalists and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.","htmlText":"<p>Hundreds of journalists have gathered in Georgia to pay tribute to a cameraman who died after being beaten last week during an anti-LGBT march.<\/p>\n<p>Alexander Lachkarava was assaulted by far-right activists on 5 July on the sidelines of the protest and suffered multiple facial fractures.<\/p>\n<p>The 37-year-old was dead in his bed on Sunday, according to Pirveli TV, the channel he worked for.<\/p>\n<p>The NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) stated that his death was \"a calamitous turn for freedom of information\" in Georgia.<\/p>\n<p>More than fifty journalists were attacked at the anti-LGBT demonstrations last week in the capital city, Tbilisi. The rallies forced organisers of the city&#039;s Gay Pride parade to cancel the event for fear of the safety of participants.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5841664\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//05//tbilisi-pride-march-cancelled-after-violent-anti-lgbt-demonstrations/">Tbilisi Pride march cancelled after violent anti-LGBT demonstrations<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>On Tuesday, a crowd gathered outside Lachkarava&#039;s home before his funeral on Tuesday, and his coffin was carried to applause through a line of journalists, with their cameras pointing to the ground in mourning.<\/p>\n<p>\"The government has always tried to stifle the independent press,\" said Eka Michveladze, a journalist with Pirveli TV, at the televised funeral.<\/p>\n<p>\"We are mourning the death of a colleague today, but tomorrow everyone will know the strength of our independent media,\" added Vakho Sanaia, a reporter for Formula TV.<\/p>\n<p>Four independent television stations in the country also suspended their broadcasts for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest.<\/p>\n<p>\"Garibashvili must resign. All those who attacked journalists on July 5 must be prosecuted,\" they demanded in identical statements on their Facebook pages.<\/p>\n<p>The Georgian authorities have promised a prompt investigation into the death of Alexander Lachkarava, calling it an \"incredible tragedy\".<\/p>\n<p>But RSF has accused the government of \"guilty passivity\" in the face of the violence.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5867654\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//12//georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death/">Georgia: Thousands demand president resigns over journalist's death<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>After the death of Lachkarava, thousands of Georgians demonstrated to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.<\/p>\n<p>The Georgian PM has come under fire from both the opposition and human rights activists for taking a stance against the LGBT march, calling it \"unacceptable to a large part of society\".<\/p>\n<p>During a stormy session in parliament on Monday, opposition MPs came to blows as they called for Garibashvili to resign.<\/p>\n<p>Twelve people were also detained after eggs and paint were thrown at the headquarters of the ruling Georgian Dream party.<\/p>\n<p>The European Union and the United States has condemned last week&#039;s attacks on journalists and called for those responsible to be brought to justice.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1626197945,"publishedAt":1626199121,"updatedAt":1626261584,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/07\/13\/tributes-paid-to-georgian-journalist-who-died-after-beating-at-anti-lgbt-protest","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/87\/34\/76\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_862c4e6f-f703-5c2b-bc21-dece3f11d834-5873476.jpg","altText":"Colleagues of Alexander Lashkarava held a minute of silent during a farewell ceremony in Tbilisi.","caption":"Colleagues of Alexander Lashkarava held a minute of silent during a farewell ceremony in Tbilisi.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo\/Shakh Aivazov","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"3369","height":"2246"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"4472","slug":"journalist","urlSafeValue":"journalist","title":"Journalist","titleRaw":"Journalist"},{"id":"12047","slug":"tribute","urlSafeValue":"tribute","title":"Tribute","titleRaw":"Tribute"},{"id":"12541","slug":"lgbt","urlSafeValue":"lgbt","title":"LGBT","titleRaw":"LGBT"},{"id":"4055","slug":"tbilisi","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi","titleRaw":"Tbilisi"},{"id":"16712","slug":"assassinated-journalists","urlSafeValue":"assassinated-journalists","title":"Assassinated journalists","titleRaw":"Assassinated journalists"}],"related":[{"id":"1517266"},{"id":"1511006"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AP, AFP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/07\/13\/tributes-paid-to-georgian-journalist-who-died-after-beating-at-anti-lgbt-protest","lastModified":1626261584},{"id":"1591532","cid":"5867654","versionId":"2","archive":0,"housenumber":"210712_WBSU_41627144","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia: Thousands demand president resigns over journalist's death","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia: Thousands demand president resigns over journalist's death","titleListing2":"Georgia: Thousands demand president resigns over journalist's death","leadin":"Cameraman Alexander Lashkarava was beaten by a mob while covering an anti-LGBT march.","summary":"Cameraman Alexander Lashkarava was beaten by a mob while covering an anti-LGBT march.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Several thousand people protested in front of the Georgian parliament on Sunday evening, demanding that the ex-Soviet nation's prime minister resign over the death of a journalist who was attacked and beaten by anti-LGBT protesters. \n\nCameraman Alexander Lashkarava was found dead in his home by his mother earlier Sunday, according to the TV Pirveli channel he worked for. Lashkarava was one of several dozen journalists attacked last Monday by opponents of an LGBT march that had been scheduled to take place that day in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. \n\nOrganizers of the Tbilisi March For Dignity cancelled the event, saying authorities had not provided adequate security guarantees. Opponents of the march blocked off the capital\u2019s main avenue, denounced journalists covering the protest as pro-LGBT propagandists and threw sticks and bottles at them. \n\nLashkarava, according to his colleague Miranda Baghaturia, was beaten by a mob of 20 people. Local TV channels later showed him with bruises on his face and blood on the floor around him. Media reports say he sustained multiple injuries and had to undergo surgery but was discharged from a hospital on Thursday. \n\nThe cause of his death was not immediately clear. \n\nPolice launched an investigation into Lashkarava's death, which Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Salome Zurabishvili both described as \"a tragedy.\" \n\nAnimosity against sexual minorities is strong in the conservative Black Sea nation of Georgia. \n\nThe Tbilisi Pride group said Monday that opponents of the planned march were supported by the government and by the Georgian Orthodox Church. The Open Caucasus Media group published a photo of a man it said was a local TV journalist being pulled away from the scene in a headlock by an Orthodox priest. \n\nZurabishvili condemned the violence, but Garibashvili alleged the march was organized by \u201cradical opposition\u201d forces that he claimed were led by exiled former President Mikheil Saakashvili. \n\nA large crowd of protesters that gathered in Tbilisi on Sunday demanded that authorities punish those responsible for the attack on journalists and urged Garibashvili to step down. Some protesters blamed the prime minister for enabling the violence by publicly denouncing the LGBT march.","htmlText":"<p>Several thousand people protested in front of the Georgian parliament on Sunday evening, demanding that the ex-Soviet nation&#039;s prime minister resign over the death of a journalist who was attacked and beaten by anti-LGBT protesters.<\/p>\n<p>Cameraman Alexander Lashkarava was found dead in his home by his mother earlier Sunday, according to the TV Pirveli channel he worked for. Lashkarava was one of several dozen journalists attacked last Monday by opponents of an LGBT march that had been scheduled to take place that day in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.<\/p>\n<p>Organizers of the Tbilisi March For Dignity cancelled the event, saying authorities had not provided adequate security guarantees. Opponents of the march blocked off the capital\u2019s main avenue, denounced journalists covering the protest as pro-LGBT propagandists and threw sticks and bottles at them.<\/p>\n<p>Lashkarava, according to his colleague Miranda Baghaturia, was beaten by a mob of 20 people. Local TV channels later showed him with bruises on his face and blood on the floor around him. Media reports say he sustained multiple injuries and had to undergo surgery but was discharged from a hospital on Thursday.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5673742,5671486,5644296,5576640\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//19//georgia-and-eu-annouce-political-agreement-exclusively-on-euronews/">Georgia and EU jointly celebrate political agreement exclusively on Euronews<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//19//georgia-s-future-is-european-view/">Georgia's future is European | View<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//04//20//opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis/">Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//11//georgia-frees-jailed-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-eu-posts-bail/">Georgia frees jailed opposition leader Nika Melia after EU posts bail<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The cause of his death was not immediately clear.<\/p>\n<p>Police launched an investigation into Lashkarava&#039;s death, which Georgia&#039;s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Salome Zurabishvili both described as \"a tragedy.\"<\/p>\n<p>Animosity against sexual minorities is strong in the conservative Black Sea nation of Georgia.<\/p>\n<p>The Tbilisi Pride group said Monday that opponents of the planned march were supported by the government and by the Georgian Orthodox Church. The Open Caucasus Media group published a photo of a man it said was a local TV journalist being pulled away from the scene in a headlock by an Orthodox priest.<\/p>\n<p>Zurabishvili condemned the violence, but Garibashvili alleged the march was organized by \u201cradical opposition\u201d forces that he claimed were led by exiled former President Mikheil Saakashvili.<\/p>\n<p>A large crowd of protesters that gathered in Tbilisi on Sunday demanded that authorities punish those responsible for the attack on journalists and urged Garibashvili to step down. Some protesters blamed the prime minister for enabling the violence by publicly denouncing the LGBT march.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1626066525,"publishedAt":1626066837,"updatedAt":1626079275,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/07\/12\/georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/86\/76\/54\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_cec46c24-33ef-5f70-944f-9b8975bbf2ff-5867654.jpg","altText":"Opponents of the march block off the capital's main avenue to an LGBT march in Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, July 5, 2021.","caption":"Opponents of the march block off the capital's main avenue to an LGBT march in Tbilisi, Georgia, Monday, July 5, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Shakh Aivazov\/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"683"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"12541","slug":"lgbt","urlSafeValue":"lgbt","title":"LGBT","titleRaw":"LGBT"}],"related":[{"id":"1517266"},{"id":"1504032"},{"id":"1476968"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"related","count":"1"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/NW\/SU\/21\/07\/12\/en\/210712_NWSU_41627078_41628436_75000_103148_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"20000","filesizeBytes":"0","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/NW\/SU\/21\/07\/12\/en\/210712_NWSU_41627078_41628436_75000_103148_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"20000","filesizeBytes":"0","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"youtubeId":"j3ZYnFdQhDw"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"AP","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/07\/12\/georgia-thousands-demand-president-resigns-over-journalist-s-death","lastModified":1626079275},{"id":"1582378","cid":"5841664","versionId":"2","archive":0,"housenumber":"210705_WBSU_41517800","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Tbilisi Pride march cancelled after violent anti-LGBT demonstrations","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Tbilisi Pride march cancelled after violent anti-LGBT demonstrations","titleListing2":"Organisers of the 2021 #Pride March in Tbilisi said they could not \"put people's lives at risk\". #LGBT","leadin":"Organisers of the 2021 Pride March in the Georgian capital city, Tbilisi, have cancelled the parade over security fears after violent anti-LGBT demonstrations.","summary":"Organisers of the 2021 Pride March in the Georgian capital city, Tbilisi, have cancelled the parade over security fears after violent anti-LGBT demonstrations.","keySentence":null,"url":"tbilisi-pride-march-cancelled-after-violent-anti-lgbt-demonstrations","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"LGBT activists in Georgia have cancelled a Pride march in the capital Tbilisi after violent clashes ahead of the parade. \n\nViolent groups stormed and ransacked the office of gay rights campaigners on Monday, Georgian authorities confirmed. \n\nActivists posted photos and videos of people breaking into the premises and some journalists had reported that their equipment was broken in the attack. \n\nAfter scuffles between anti-LGBT groups and the police, the organisers of the 2021 Pride said they would be cancelling the event. \n\n\"The authorities did not ensure the security of the community and our supporters,\" a statement on Facebook read. \n\n\"We can not go to the streets full of violent people backed by the authorities and patriarchate and put people's lives at risk.\" \n\n\"War was declared against civil society and democratic values.\" \n\nOrganisers said they had been \"actively communicating\" with the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs about security ahead of the march. \n\n\"The actions of the government have clearly shown that they don't want to perform its direct duty,\" organisers added. \n\n\"The inaction of the executive power has put the health and lives of Georgian citizens in real danger.\" \n\nCampaigners also called on the international community to oppose \"radical groups\" and pro-Russian anti-LGBT voices in Georgia. \n\nThe country remains under the influence of the powerful Orthodox Church, which has been a vocal critic of governments deemed too progressive. \n\nPrime Minister Irakli Garibashvili himself had spoken out against the event, saying that holding a Pride March is \"not reasonable\" and would create \"the threat of civil confrontation\". \n\nOrganisers of the event have described the Prime Minister's comments as \"shameful\". \n\nIn a statement on Monday , the Georgian Interior Ministry said they had identified \"various groups were gathering and protesting\" in Tbilisi. \n\n\"Some individuals gathered at the protest on Rustaveli Avenue carried out violent acts towards the representatives of media and obstructed their professional activities.\" \n\n\"Due to the high public interest, the Ministry of Internal Affairs would like to clarify that conduct of the final event of \"Tbilisi Pride\" contains risks regarding the safety of persons involved in the event,\" they added. \n\nAuthorities said they had repeatedly called on the organisers of Pride March 2021 not to hold the event due to \"the scale of counter-demonstations planned by the opposing groups\". \n\n\"The Ministry of Internal Affairs primarily condemns hate speech, including any form of violence against members of the media,\" a second statement said. \n\n\"We call on the citizens gathered in the streets of the capital to maintain order, obey the lawful demands of the police and protest on any topic within the law.\" \n\nThe ministry said police would remain mobilised on the streets and that an investigation had been launched. \n\nIn a post on Facebook , the US Embassy in Tbilisi said that they support the country's government in \"protecting the human rights of all citizens\". \n\n\"Georgia\u2019s Constitution and laws guarantee every citizen the right to equality and dignity and to freely develop their personality, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,\" the post added. \n\n\"We support the freedom of all Georgians, including the LGBT+ community, to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in a nonviolent manner.\" \n\nCroatian police have already detained several people over incidents during this weekend's Pride march in the capital city, Zagreb.","htmlText":"<p>LGBT activists in Georgia have cancelled a Pride march in the capital Tbilisi after violent clashes ahead of the parade.<\/p>\n<p>Violent groups stormed and ransacked the office of gay rights campaigners on Monday, Georgian authorities confirmed.<\/p>\n<p>Activists posted photos and videos of people breaking into the premises and some journalists had reported that their equipment was broken in the attack.<\/p>\n<p>After scuffles between anti-LGBT groups and the police, the organisers of the 2021 Pride said they would be cancelling the event.<\/p>\n<p>\"The authorities did not ensure the security of the community and our supporters,\" a <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.facebook.com//TiflisPride//photos//a.556984528139071//1157851294719055/">statement on Facebook<\/a> read.<\/p>\n<p>\"We can not go to the streets full of violent people backed by the authorities and patriarchate and put people&#039;s lives at risk.\"<\/p>\n<p>\"War was declared against civil society and democratic values.\"<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1412017771785949189\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Organisers said they had been \"actively communicating\" with the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs about security ahead of the march.<\/p>\n<p>\"The actions of the government have clearly shown that they don&#039;t want to perform its direct duty,\" organisers added.<\/p>\n<p>\"The inaction of the executive power has put the health and lives of Georgian citizens in real danger.\"<\/p>\n<p>Campaigners also called on the international community to oppose \"radical groups\" and pro-Russian anti-LGBT voices in Georgia.<\/p>\n<p>The country remains under the influence of the powerful Orthodox Church, which has been a vocal critic of governments deemed too progressive.<\/p>\n<p>Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili himself had spoken out against the event, saying that holding a Pride March is \"not reasonable\" and would create \"the threat of civil confrontation\".<\/p>\n<p>Organisers of the event have described the Prime Minister&#039;s comments as \"shameful\".<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5388750,5421492\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//19//irakli-gharibashvili-set-to-return-as-georgia-s-prime-minister/">Irakli Gharibashvili set to return as Georgia's prime minister<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//03//01//i-m-deeply-concerned-over-georgia-s-political-crisis-says-eu-chief-michel/">I'm deeply concerned over Georgia's political crisis, says EU chief Michel<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>In a <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////police.ge//en//shinagan-saqmeta-saministros-gantskhadeba//14760/">statement on Monday<\/a>, the Georgian Interior Ministry said they had identified \"various groups were gathering and protesting\" in Tbilisi.<\/p>\n<p>\"Some individuals gathered at the protest on Rustaveli Avenue carried out violent acts towards the representatives of media and obstructed their professional activities.\"<\/p>\n<p>\"Due to the high public interest, the Ministry of Internal Affairs would like to clarify that conduct of the final event of \"Tbilisi Pride\" contains risks regarding the safety of persons involved in the event,\" they added.<\/p>\n<p>Authorities said they had repeatedly called on the organisers of Pride March 2021 not to hold the event due to \"the scale of counter-demonstations planned by the opposing groups\".<\/p>\n<p>\"The Ministry of Internal Affairs primarily condemns hate speech, including any form of violence against members of the media,\" a <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////police.ge//en//shinagan-saqmeta-saministros-gantskhadeba//14761/">second statement<\/a> said.<\/p>\n<p>\"We call on the citizens gathered in the streets of the capital to maintain order, obey the lawful demands of the police and protest on any topic within the law.\"<\/p>\n<p>The ministry said police would remain mobilised on the streets and that an investigation had been launched.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5839190,4289570\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//07//04//rainbow-flag-burned-and-marchers-assaulted-at-zagreb-gay-pride-march/">Rainbow flag burned and marchers assaulted at Zagreb gay pride march<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2019//11//09//police-arrest-at-least-25-after-clashes-at-gay-movie-premiere-in-georgia/">Police arrest at least 25 after clashes at gay movie premiere in Georgia<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>In a <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.facebook.com//usingeo//posts//10159326445467954/">post on Facebook<\/a>, the US Embassy in Tbilisi said that they support the country&#039;s government in \"protecting the human rights of all citizens\".<\/p>\n<p>\"Georgia\u2019s Constitution and laws guarantee every citizen the right to equality and dignity and to freely develop their personality, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,\" the post added.<\/p>\n<p>\"We support the freedom of all Georgians, including the LGBT+ community, to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and assembly in a nonviolent manner.\"<\/p>\n<p>Croatian police have already detained several people over incidents during this weekend&#039;s Pride march in the capital city, Zagreb.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1625486831,"publishedAt":1625488728,"updatedAt":1625499931,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/07\/05\/tbilisi-pride-march-cancelled-after-violent-anti-lgbt-demonstrations","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/84\/16\/64\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_0a9bd0cc-5a28-5cf0-ba47-70fd2349d097-5841664.jpg","altText":"The Pride March had been planned in the centre of the city on Monday.","caption":"The Pride March had been planned in the centre of the city on Monday.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo\/Shakh Aivazov, FILE 2017","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"3263","height":"2460"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"4055","slug":"tbilisi","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi","titleRaw":"Tbilisi"},{"id":"15428","slug":"gay-pride","urlSafeValue":"gay-pride","title":"Gay 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pride"},{"id":"12541","slug":"lgbt","urlSafeValue":"lgbt","title":"LGBT","titleRaw":"LGBT"},{"id":"15896","slug":"lgbti-","urlSafeValue":"lgbti-","title":"LGBT\u0130+","titleRaw":"LGBT\u0130+"},{"id":"23384","slug":"cancel","urlSafeValue":"cancel","title":"cancel","titleRaw":"cancel"},{"id":"12313","slug":"violence","urlSafeValue":"violence","title":"Violence","titleRaw":"Violence"}],"related":[{"id":"1562438"},{"id":"1540366"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"twitter","count":"1"},{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":"AFP","additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/07\/05\/tbilisi-pride-march-cancelled-after-violent-anti-lgbt-demonstrations","lastModified":1625499931},{"id":"1517266","cid":"5673742","versionId":"5","archive":0,"housenumber":"210519_WBSU_16013923","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia and EU jointly celebrate political agreement exclusively on Euronews","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia and EU celebrate political agreement exclusively on Euronews","titleListing2":"Georgia and EU jointly celebrate political agreement exclusively on Euronews","leadin":"After mediation from the EU's Charles Michel, Georgia's future now firmly looks to Europe. The Georgian president Salome Zourabichvili, alongside the European Council, chose Euronews as the platform of choice to celebrate the news.","summary":"After mediation from the EU's Charles Michel, Georgia's future now firmly looks to Europe. The Georgian president Salome Zourabichvili, alongside the European Council, chose Euronews as the platform of choice to celebrate the news.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-and-eu-annouce-political-agreement-exclusively-on-euronews","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"European Council President Charles Michel helped broker the 19 April Agreement between political parties in Georgia, thus ending the country's well-documented political crisis. \n\nThe next day, President Michel came to Georgia and met with President Salome Zourabichvili, where the two agreed on writing an op-ed together on the future of Georgia-EU relations, and they chose Euronews as Europe\u2019s premier media outlet to host the message. \n\n\"We, the President of Georgia and the President of the European Council, want to express our deep satisfaction in seeing this deal agreed and signed by the ruling and opposition parties. This agreement puts an end to a crisis that could have disrupted the democratic advancement achieved over the past decades and weakened Georgia\u2019s progress along its European path,\" the op-ed read. \n\n\nThe political situation has been tense since the ruling Georgian Dream party won the Oct. 31 parliamentary election. \n\nHowever, the United National Movement said it was rigged and refused to concede defeat, demanding a rerun. \n\nWin-Win? \n\nAn agreement such as this is hailed in Brussels as a big win for the EU in a crucial part of the continent. \n\n\"The EU can count on a stable, fiercely pro-European partner in a region essential to Europe\u2019s values, security and connectivity. At a time when the regional landscape is being reshaped, Georgia matters more than ever,\" Michel and Zourabichvili wrote.\u00a0\u00a0 \n\n\nAnd for Georgians, they now have their biggest donor as an agreement partner. \n\n\"To this day, the EU has been Georgia\u2019s largest donor with over 200 concrete ongoing projects and a total budget of 500 million euros,\" Wednesday's announcement details. \n\nIn parallel, to mark the special relationship between the EU and its Associated partners in the Eastern Partnership, the Georgian president and the European Council propose to hold, in the coming months, a leaders' meeting, with the Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. \n\n\n\"At a time of increased geopolitical pressures in the region, there is no better answer than the demonstration just given by Europe and Georgia,\"\u00a0Michel and Zourabichvili wrote. \"Decisive European political support to a small but vibrant democracy and to avoid any form of destabilisation.\"","htmlText":"<p>European Council President Charles Michel helped broker the 19 April Agreement between political parties in Georgia, thus ending the country&#039;s well-documented political crisis.<\/p>\n<p>The next day, President Michel came to Georgia and met with President Salome Zourabichvili, where the two agreed on writing an op-ed together on the future of Georgia-EU relations, and they chose Euronews as Europe\u2019s premier media outlet to host the message.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5671486\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//05//19//georgia-s-future-is-european-view/">Georgia's future is European | View<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>\"We, the President of Georgia and the President of the European Council, want to express our deep satisfaction in seeing this deal agreed and signed by the ruling and opposition parties. This agreement puts an end to a crisis that could have disrupted the democratic advancement achieved over the past decades and weakened Georgia\u2019s progress along its European path,\" the op-ed read. <\/p>\n<p>The political situation has been tense since the ruling Georgian Dream party won the Oct. 31 parliamentary election.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5576640\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//04//20//opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis/">Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>However, the United National Movement said it was rigged and refused to concede defeat, demanding a rerun.<\/p>\n<h2>Win-Win?<\/h2><p>An agreement such as this is hailed in Brussels as a big win for the EU in a crucial part of the continent.<\/p>\n<p>\"The EU can count on a stable, fiercely pro-European partner in a region essential to Europe\u2019s values, security and connectivity. At a time when the regional landscape is being reshaped, Georgia matters more than ever,\" Michel and Zourabichvili wrote. <\/p>\n<p>And for Georgians, they now have their biggest donor as an agreement partner.<\/p>\n<p>\"To this day, the EU has been Georgia\u2019s largest donor with over 200 concrete ongoing projects and a total budget of 500 million euros,\" Wednesday&#039;s announcement details.<\/p>\n<p>In parallel, to mark the special relationship between the EU and its Associated partners in the Eastern Partnership, the Georgian president and the European Council propose to hold, in the coming months, a leaders&#039; meeting, with the Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. <\/p>\n<p>\"At a time of increased geopolitical pressures in the region, there is no better answer than the demonstration just given by Europe and Georgia,\" Michel and Zourabichvili wrote. \"Decisive European political support to a small but vibrant democracy and to avoid any form of destabilisation.\"<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1621412157,"publishedAt":1621416040,"updatedAt":1621421277,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/05\/19\/georgia-and-eu-annouce-political-agreement-exclusively-on-euronews","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/67\/37\/42\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_e4abe116-64e2-53bf-820a-4095d9fe574b-5673742.jpg","altText":"European Council President Charles Michel, left, speaks with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, on screen, during a video conference at the European Council on April 19","caption":"European Council President Charles Michel, left, speaks with Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, on screen, during a video conference at the European Council on April 19","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Kenzo Tribouillard\/AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"7929","height":"4976"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"8157","slug":"president-of-the-european-council","urlSafeValue":"president-of-the-european-council","title":"President of the European Council","titleRaw":"President of the European Council"},{"id":"105","slug":"european-union","urlSafeValue":"european-union","title":"European Union","titleRaw":"European Union"},{"id":"4461","slug":"caucasus","urlSafeValue":"caucasus","title":"Caucasus","titleRaw":"Caucasus"},{"id":"18126","slug":"salome-zurabischvili","urlSafeValue":"salome-zurabischvili","title":"salome zurabischvili","titleRaw":"salome zurabischvili"}],"related":[{"id":"1591532"},{"id":"1593598"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/05\/19\/georgia-and-eu-annouce-political-agreement-exclusively-on-euronews","lastModified":1621421277},{"id":"1516308","cid":"5671486","versionId":"2","archive":0,"housenumber":"210518_WBSU_16009888","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia's future is European | View","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":null,"titleListing2":"\"[The crisis] could have disrupted the democratic advancement achieved over the past decades and weakened Georgia\u2019s progress along its European path,\" say @eucopresident and @Zourabichvili_S in an op-ed on euronews.com","leadin":"Georgia's president Salome Zourabichvili and European Council president Charles Michel hail the deal they say has ended the country's political crisis.","summary":"Georgia's president Salome Zourabichvili and European Council president Charles Michel hail the deal they say has ended the country's political crisis.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-s-future-is-european-view","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"On 19 April, Georgia's political leaders signed a major political agreement following weeks of mediation by the European Union. The following op-ed is penned by those that initiated and supported this mediation - the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. Together, they look ahead at what this agreement means for Georgia, for the EU and for EU-Georgia relations. \n\nAs it recovered its independence 30 years ago, Georgia renewed its historic aspiration to rejoin the European family. Since 2004, the European Union responded by opening a steady process which has brought Georgia closer to Europe from the European Neighborhood (2004) to the Eastern Partnership (2009). In the past decade, the movement accelerated with the signing of the Association Agreement of 2014, which also included a free trade area; and in 2017, visa liberalisation was concluded allowing Georgians to travel to the EU without visas for short-term stays. Connections between Georgia and the EU are far more profound than ever before, an achievement which no one could have contemplated when the country broke free from Soviet rule in 1991. \n\nYet in early 2021, Georgia faced a political deadlock. Latent polarisation pitted the ruling and opposition parties against each other. Despite facilitation efforts by the EU and US envoys, tensions morphed into a political crisis. With the region\u2019s stability challenged by the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan reigniting in Autumn 2020, it became essential to consolidate Georgia\u2019s democracy and stability. With the full backing of the President of Georgia, the President of the European Council offered EU mediation in the political dialogue relaunched during his 1 March visit to Georgia. \n\nWe, the President of Georgia and the President of the European Council, want to express our deep satisfaction in seeing this deal agreed and signed by the ruling and opposition parties. This agreement puts an end to a crisis that could have disrupted the democratic advancement achieved over the past decades and weakened Georgia\u2019s progress along its European path. Through dialogue, leadership and compromise, Georgian political leaders put differences aside for the greater good of the country. This was done in a truly European spirit reviving Georgia\u2019s image as a democratic anchor in the region. The political crisis is over, constructive political engagement needs to be sustained. We call on each and everyone to live up to their commitments. \n\nThis agreement is a win for Georgia, its people and the European Union. \n\nA win for robust democratic institutions in Georgia \n\nWith European support, this Agreement will deepen the reforms of the country\u2019s institutions. The electoral process will meet the highest standard and reforms of the judicial system should end any perceived politicisation of justice.\u00a0 \n\nPower-sharing procedures will make the Georgian Parliament one of the most pluralistic. These changes will not only make Georgian democracy more vibrant, it will ensure that reforms are inclusive and viable. \n\nA win for the people of Georgia \n\nAway from partisan feuds, the focus will move to meeting the pressing issues which face the country: dealing with the pandemic as well as its economic and social consequences; maintaining stability; investing in the future. Georgians have seen they were not alone to overcome the crisis. To this day, the EU has been Georgia\u2019s largest donor with over 200 concrete ongoing projects and a total budget of 500 million euros. The European Investment Bank has invested some 1.85 billion Euros in economic development, agriculture, education and infrastructure to name a few. \n\nMore tangible support from Europe will follow. The agreement - entitled \u201cA way ahead for Georgia\u201d - paves the way for closer cooperation with the EU; financial support to soften the blow of the post-COVID recovery; enhanced participation in the EU's programmes; and a renewed focus on physical and digital infrastructure projects that can increase connectivity of Georgia and the Caucasus and Black Sea regions with Europe, with the potential to further increase growth. \n\nA win for the European Union \n\nThe EU can count on a stable, fiercely pro-European partner in a region essential to Europe\u2019s values, security and connectivity. At a time when the regional landscape is being reshaped, Georgia matters more than ever. \n\nWith mutual interests at stake, the EU and Georgia now need to further deepen the implementation of the Association Agreement and further strengthen their cooperation. In addition to bilateral agendas, we will continue to work for a renewed and deepened Eastern Partnership that expands areas for cooperation, increases EU support and extends the links between our peoples. In parallel, to mark the special relationship between the EU and its Associated partners in the Eastern Partnership, we propose to hold, in the coming months, a leaders' meeting, with the Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. \n\nAt a time of increased geopolitical pressures in the region, there is no better answer than the demonstration just given by Europe and Georgia. On the one hand, decisive European political support to a small but vibrant democracy and to avoid any form of destabilisation. On the other hand, Georgia\u2019s determination to continue undeterred on its chosen path towards its Euro-Atlantic future. \n\n---- \n\nSalome Zourabichvili is the President of Georgia, and Charles Michel is the President of the European Council.","htmlText":"<p><strong>On 19 April, Georgia&#039;s political leaders signed a major political agreement following weeks of mediation by the European Union. The following op-ed is penned by those that initiated and supported this mediation - the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. Together, they look ahead at what this agreement means for Georgia, for the EU and for EU-Georgia relations.<\/strong><\/p>\n<p>As it recovered its independence 30 years ago, Georgia renewed its historic aspiration to rejoin the European family. Since 2004, the European Union responded by opening a steady process which has brought Georgia closer to Europe from the European Neighborhood (2004) to the Eastern Partnership (2009). In the past decade, the movement accelerated with the signing of the Association Agreement of 2014, which also included a free trade area; and in 2017, visa liberalisation was concluded allowing Georgians to travel to the EU without visas for short-term stays. Connections between Georgia and the EU are far more profound than ever before, an achievement which no one could have contemplated when the country broke free from Soviet rule in 1991.<\/p>\n<p>Yet in early 2021, Georgia faced a political deadlock. Latent polarisation pitted the ruling and opposition parties against each other. Despite facilitation efforts by the EU and US envoys, tensions morphed into a political crisis. With the region\u2019s stability challenged by the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan reigniting in Autumn 2020, it became essential to consolidate Georgia\u2019s democracy and stability. With the full backing of the President of Georgia, the President of the European Council offered EU mediation in the political dialogue relaunched during his 1 March visit to Georgia.<\/p>\n<p>We, the President of Georgia and the President of the European Council, want to express our deep satisfaction in seeing this deal agreed and signed by the ruling and opposition parties. This agreement puts an end to a crisis that could have disrupted the democratic advancement achieved over the past decades and weakened Georgia\u2019s progress along its European path. Through dialogue, leadership and compromise, Georgian political leaders put differences aside for the greater good of the country. This was done in a truly European spirit reviving Georgia\u2019s image as a democratic anchor in the region. The political crisis is over, constructive political engagement needs to be sustained. We call on each and everyone to live up to their commitments.<\/p>\n<p>This agreement is a win for Georgia, its people and the European Union.<\/p>\n<h2>A win for robust democratic institutions in Georgia<\/h2><p>With European support, this Agreement will deepen the reforms of the country\u2019s institutions. The electoral process will meet the highest standard and reforms of the judicial system should end any perceived politicisation of justice. <\/p>\n<p>Power-sharing procedures will make the Georgian Parliament one of the most pluralistic. These changes will not only make Georgian democracy more vibrant, it will ensure that reforms are inclusive and viable.<\/p>\n<h2>A win for the people of Georgia<\/h2><p>Away from partisan feuds, the focus will move to meeting the pressing issues which face the country: dealing with the pandemic as well as its economic and social consequences; maintaining stability; investing in the future. Georgians have seen they were not alone to overcome the crisis. To this day, the EU has been Georgia\u2019s largest donor with over 200 concrete ongoing projects and a total budget of 500 million euros. The European Investment Bank has invested some 1.85 billion Euros in economic development, agriculture, education and infrastructure to name a few.<\/p>\n<p>More tangible support from Europe will follow. The agreement - entitled \u201cA way ahead for Georgia\u201d - paves the way for closer cooperation with the EU; financial support to soften the blow of the post-COVID recovery; enhanced participation in the EU&#039;s programmes; and a renewed focus on physical and digital infrastructure projects that can increase connectivity of Georgia and the Caucasus and Black Sea regions with Europe, with the potential to further increase growth.<\/p>\n<h2>A win for the European Union<\/h2><p>The EU can count on a stable, fiercely pro-European partner in a region essential to Europe\u2019s values, security and connectivity. At a time when the regional landscape is being reshaped, Georgia matters more than ever.<\/p>\n<p>With mutual interests at stake, the EU and Georgia now need to further deepen the implementation of the Association Agreement and further strengthen their cooperation. In addition to bilateral agendas, we will continue to work for a renewed and deepened Eastern Partnership that expands areas for cooperation, increases EU support and extends the links between our peoples. In parallel, to mark the special relationship between the EU and its Associated partners in the Eastern Partnership, we propose to hold, in the coming months, a leaders&#039; meeting, with the Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.<\/p>\n<p>At a time of increased geopolitical pressures in the region, there is no better answer than the demonstration just given by Europe and Georgia. On the one hand, decisive European political support to a small but vibrant democracy and to avoid any form of destabilisation. On the other hand, Georgia\u2019s determination to continue undeterred on its chosen path towards its Euro-Atlantic future.<\/p>\n<p>----<\/p>\n<p>Salome Zourabichvili is the President of Georgia, and Charles Michel is the President of the European Council.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1621362161,"publishedAt":1621413041,"updatedAt":1621413804,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/05\/19\/georgia-s-future-is-european-view","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/67\/14\/86\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_f7881b99-32e4-5a66-9dc4-b6fc4e9b4571-5671486.jpg","altText":"European Council President Charles Michel and Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili pose for a photograph prior to their meeting at the European Council headquarters","caption":"European Council President Charles Michel and Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili pose for a photograph prior to their meeting at the European Council headquarters","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Stephanie Lecocq\/AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"683"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"18000","slug":"charles-michel","urlSafeValue":"charles-michel","title":"Charles Michel","titleRaw":"Charles Michel"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Salome Zourabichvili and Charles Michel","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"view","urlSafeValue":"view","title":"View","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/view"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/05\/19\/georgia-s-future-is-european-view","lastModified":1621413804},{"id":"1504032","cid":"5644296","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210511_NWSU_15925340","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia frees jailed opposition leader Nika Melia after EU posts bail","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia frees jailed opposition leader Nika Melia after EU posts bail","titleListing2":"Georgia frees jailed opposition leader Nika Melia after EU posts bail","leadin":"Melia was arrested in February after police stormed the headquarters of the main opposition party, sparking international criticism and aggravating the political situation within the country.","summary":"Melia was arrested in February after police stormed the headquarters of the main opposition party, sparking international criticism and aggravating the political situation within the country.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-frees-jailed-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-eu-posts-bail","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Nika Melia, the leader of Georgia's main opposition party United National Movement, has been released from prison, paving the way to end the political crisis in the country. \n\nWaving Georgian and EU flags, hundreds of supporters greeted him as he left the penitentiary facility in the city of Rustavi, some 25 kilometres southeast of the capital Tbilisi. \n\n\"I want to wish liberation for all the political prisoners in Georgia,\" Melia told the crowd. \n\n\"We are facing a ruthless opponent,\" he said, referring to the ruling party. \"Unfortunately, I am not the last political prisoner in Georgia.\" \n\nMelia, 41, was arrested in February 2021 after police stormed the headquarters of the main opposition party, sparking mass protests. \n\nHe is charged with incitement to violence during an anti-government protest in Tbilisi in 2019. \n\nMelia was sent to pretrial detention after he refused to pay increased bail of 40,000 Georgian Lari (9,500 euros) saying the process was politically motivated. \n\nThen-prime minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned over his government's plans to detain Melia. \n\nBrussels and Washington led a chorus of international condemnation of Melia's detention, as fears mounted in the West over Georgia's perceived backsliding on commitments to democracy. \n\nMelia's release came about after the European Union posted his bail. \n\nNegotiations between the opposition and the ruling Georgian Dream Party were mediated with the involvement of the European Council President Charles Michel. \n\nEU representatives said paying bail for Melia is \"an important step taken to end the political crisis in Georgia.\" \n\nCross-party leader \n\nThe country in Europe's extreme southeast has been gripped by crisis since last October's parliamentary polls, which the opposition denounced as rigged. \n\nMelia had united Georgia's traditionally fractured opposition ahead of the elections, emerging as a respected cross-party leader who developed an unprecedented unified opposition front against Georgian Dream's rule. \n\nIn power since 2012, Georgian Dream narrowly won the election, with the opposition regularly staging mass protests in the months since to demand a fresh vote. \n\nIn March, Michel initiated inter-party talks that brought the Georgian government and several opposition parties to an agreement in April. \n\nThe deal commits opposition parties to enter parliament, while Georgian Dream has promised sweeping political, electoral, and judicial reforms. \n\nUnder the pact, the ruling party pledged to resolve cases of \"perceived politicised justice\" through amnesties or similar measures within a week -- the clause that concerns the criminal case against Melia. \n\nBrussels also offered to post bail on Melia's behalf to have him released from custody before the amnesty bill is passed. \n\nPotential drama ahead \n\nThe UNM had held out on joining April's EU-mediated deal that was signed by the ruling party and most opposition parties, saying it would consider doing so only once Melia was released from custody. \n\nThe refusal by the UNM and another opposition party, European Georgia, to sign the agreement and to end their parliamentary boycott has left around 40 seats vacant in Georgia's 150-member legislature. \n\nGeorgia's exiled ex-president and the UNM's founder, Mikheil Saakashvili, urged his party to sign the agreement despite its \"serious shortcomings\" and to enter parliament after Melia's release from custody. \n\nBut in an announcement expected to inject further drama into Georgia's unpredictable political landscape, the reformist former leader said last month that he will return from exile in Ukraine ahead of local elections this year. \n\nGeorgia's pro-Western president in 2004-2013, Saakashvili was sentenced in 2018 by a Georgian court to six years in prison for alleged abuse of office, a ruling he denounced as politically motivated. \n\nOfficials have warned that Saakashvili will be arrested if he returns. \n\nHis conviction and charges brought against his allies by the Georgian Dream government have prompted criticism from the West over an alleged political witch-hunt.","htmlText":"<p>Nika Melia, the leader of Georgia&#039;s main opposition party United National Movement, has been released from prison, paving the way to end the political crisis in the country.<\/p>\n<p>Waving Georgian and EU flags, hundreds of supporters greeted him as he left the penitentiary facility in the city of Rustavi, some 25 kilometres southeast of the capital Tbilisi.<\/p>\n<p>\"I want to wish liberation for all the political prisoners in Georgia,\" Melia told the crowd.<\/p>\n<p>\"We are facing a ruthless opponent,\" he said, referring to the ruling party. \"Unfortunately, I am not the last political prisoner in Georgia.\"<\/p>\n<p>Melia, 41, was arrested in February 2021 after police stormed the headquarters of the main opposition party, sparking mass protests.<\/p>\n<p>He is charged with incitement to violence during an anti-government protest in Tbilisi in 2019.<\/p>\n<p>Melia was sent to pretrial detention after he refused to pay increased bail of 40,000 Georgian Lari (9,500 euros) saying the process was politically motivated.<\/p>\n<p>Then-prime minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned over his government&#039;s plans to detain Melia.<\/p>\n<p>Brussels and Washington led a chorus of international condemnation of Melia&#039;s detention, as fears mounted in the West over Georgia&#039;s perceived backsliding on commitments to democracy.<\/p>\n<p>Melia&#039;s release came about after the European Union posted his bail.<\/p>\n<p>Negotiations between the opposition and the ruling Georgian Dream Party were mediated with the involvement of the European Council President Charles Michel.<\/p>\n<p>EU representatives said paying bail for Melia is \"an important step taken to end the political crisis in Georgia.\"<\/p>\n<h2>Cross-party leader<\/h2><p>The country in Europe&#039;s extreme southeast has been gripped by crisis since last October&#039;s parliamentary polls, which the opposition denounced as rigged.<\/p>\n<p>Melia had united Georgia&#039;s traditionally fractured opposition ahead of the elections, emerging as a respected cross-party leader who developed an unprecedented unified opposition front against Georgian Dream&#039;s rule.<\/p>\n<p>In power since 2012, Georgian Dream narrowly won the election, with the opposition regularly staging mass protests in the months since to demand a fresh vote.<\/p>\n<p>In March, Michel initiated inter-party talks that brought the Georgian government and several opposition parties to an agreement in April.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5421492,5413470\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//26//protesters-gather-in-georgia-over-opposition-leader-s-arrest/">Protesters gather in Georgia over opposition leader's arrest<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//03//01//i-m-deeply-concerned-over-georgia-s-political-crisis-says-eu-chief-michel/">I'm deeply concerned over Georgia's political crisis, says EU chief Michel<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The deal commits opposition parties to enter parliament, while Georgian Dream has promised sweeping political, electoral, and judicial reforms.<\/p>\n<p>Under the pact, the ruling party pledged to resolve cases of \"perceived politicised justice\" through amnesties or similar measures within a week -- the clause that concerns the criminal case against Melia.<\/p>\n<p>Brussels also offered to post bail on Melia&#039;s behalf to have him released from custody before the amnesty bill is passed.<\/p>\n<h2>Potential drama ahead<\/h2><p>The UNM had held out on joining April&#039;s EU-mediated deal that was signed by the ruling party and most opposition parties, saying it would consider doing so only once Melia was released from custody.<\/p>\n<p>The refusal by the UNM and another opposition party, European Georgia, to sign the agreement and to end their parliamentary boycott has left around 40 seats vacant in Georgia&#039;s 150-member legislature.<\/p>\n<p>Georgia&#039;s exiled ex-president and the UNM&#039;s founder, Mikheil Saakashvili, urged his party to sign the agreement despite its \"serious shortcomings\" and to enter parliament after Melia&#039;s release from custody.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5576640\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//04//20//opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis/">Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>But in an announcement expected to inject further drama into Georgia&#039;s unpredictable political landscape, the reformist former leader said last month that he will return from exile in Ukraine ahead of local elections this year.<\/p>\n<p>Georgia&#039;s pro-Western president in 2004-2013, Saakashvili was sentenced in 2018 by a Georgian court to six years in prison for alleged abuse of office, a ruling he denounced as politically motivated.<\/p>\n<p>Officials have warned that Saakashvili will be arrested if he returns.<\/p>\n<p>His conviction and charges brought against his allies by the Georgian Dream government have prompted criticism from the West over an alleged political witch-hunt.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1620671527,"publishedAt":1620712033,"updatedAt":1620712093,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/05\/11\/georgia-frees-jailed-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-eu-posts-bail","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/64\/42\/96\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_acf51e41-64d4-51c0-b9ee-bd8e7ef5839b-5644296.jpg","altText":"Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, speaks with journalists as he leaves prison after a court ordered his release on bail, in Rustavi.","caption":"Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, speaks with journalists as he leaves prison after a court ordered his release on bail, in Rustavi.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"VANO SHLAMOV\/AFP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"734"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[{"urlSafeValue":"dartford","title":"Katy Dartford","twitter":"@cayteye"}],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"11286","slug":"opposition","urlSafeValue":"opposition","title":"Opposition","titleRaw":"Opposition"},{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"4461","slug":"caucasus","urlSafeValue":"caucasus","title":"Caucasus","titleRaw":"Caucasus"},{"id":"105","slug":"european-union","urlSafeValue":"european-union","title":"European Union","titleRaw":"European Union"}],"related":[{"id":"1401830"},{"id":"1591532"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/NW\/SU\/21\/05\/11\/en\/210511_NWSU_15925340_15925381_80000_052822_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"80000","filesizeBytes":"7844241","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/NW\/SU\/21\/05\/11\/en\/210511_NWSU_15925340_15925381_80000_052822_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"80000","filesizeBytes":"13146936","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x817dip","youtubeId":"0zQaELBd-mk"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AP, AFP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"world","urlSafeValue":"world","title":"world news","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/world"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/05\/11\/georgia-frees-jailed-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-eu-posts-bail","lastModified":1620712093},{"id":"1476968","cid":"5576640","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210420_WBSU_15682611","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis","titleListing2":"Opposition parties in Georgia sign deal to end political crisis","leadin":"Several opposition parties have agreed to enter parliament, which they had been boycotting since elections last year.","summary":"Several opposition parties have agreed to enter parliament, which they had been boycotting since elections last year.","keySentence":null,"url":"opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Georgia is edging closer to ending a months-long political crisis after several opposition parties signed a deal to enter parliament. \n\nIt was originally sparked by a parliamentary election last October.\u00a0 \n\n\nGeorgian Dream was declared the winner,\u00a0 but the leading opposition party, United National Movement (UNM), claimed that the vote was rigged and has refused to concede defeat. \n\nThe deal on Monday will see\u00a0 several opposition parties enter the parliament they had been boycotting since the election took place. \n\n\"This is a very important day, this is the beginning of a new peaceful political history of Georgia, a big step towards depolarisation,\" said Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili. \n\n\nThe agreement offers key reforms of the Central Election Commission and the country's prosecutor's office. \n\nThe deal also stipulates that new parliamentary elections will be held in 2022 if the ruling Georgian Dream party fails to receive at least 43% of the votes in this year's municipal elections. \n\nEuropean Council President Charles Michel has described the agreement as \"a truly European way of resolving the crisis\". \n\n\"This agreement is the starting point for the consolidation of Georgian democracy and for Georgia's Euro-Atlantic future,\" he added. \n\nThe United States has also welcomed the agreement \"aimed at ending the political crisis in Georgia\". \n\nThe UNM has initially refrained from signing the document proposed by Michel. \n\n\nBut the party added that it would decide to sign when the European Commission President visits Georgia on Tuesday and if their chairman, Nika Melia, is released from detention. \n\nMelia was taken into custody in February for breaking parole terms and is facing charges of inciting violence during protests that erupted in 2019. The EU-brokered deal has implied that Melia will be released as part of the agreement. \n\nThe UNM has also reiterated its intention to hold an anti-government demonstration on May 15. \n\nMichel said he would also discuss measures to strengthen ties between the Caucasian EU candidate country and Brussels on Tuesday.","htmlText":"<p>Georgia is edging closer to ending a months-long political crisis after several opposition parties signed a deal to enter parliament.<\/p>\n<p>It was originally sparked by a parliamentary election last October. <\/p>\n<p>Georgian Dream was declared the winner, but the leading opposition party, United National Movement (UNM), claimed that the vote was rigged and has refused to concede defeat.<\/p>\n<p>The deal on Monday will see several opposition parties enter the parliament they had been boycotting since the election took place.<\/p>\n<p>\"This is a very important day, this is the beginning of a new peaceful political history of Georgia, a big step towards depolarisation,\" said Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili. <\/p>\n<p>The agreement offers key reforms of the Central Election Commission and the country&#039;s prosecutor&#039;s office.<\/p>\n<p>The deal also stipulates that new parliamentary elections will be held in 2022 if the ruling Georgian Dream party fails to receive at least 43% of the votes in this year&#039;s municipal elections.<\/p>\n<p>European Council President Charles Michel has described the agreement as \"a truly European way of resolving the crisis\".<\/p>\n<p>\"This agreement is the starting point for the consolidation of Georgian democracy and for Georgia&#039;s Euro-Atlantic future,\" he added.<\/p>\n<p>The United States has also welcomed the agreement \"aimed at ending the political crisis in Georgia\".<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5128332,5099858,5097552\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2020//11//14//thousands-rally-outside-georgia-s-parliament-in-protest-at-election/">Thousands rally outside Georgia's parliament in protest at election<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2020//10//31//georgia-s-ruling-party-claims-victory-in-parliamentary-vote/">Georgia's ruling party wins parliamentary vote, opposition calls for protests<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2020//11//02//georgia-set-for-more-protests-amid-claims-of-vote-rigging-in-election/">Georgia set for more protests amid claims of vote-rigging in election<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The UNM has initially refrained from signing the document proposed by Michel. <\/p>\n<p>But the party added that it would decide to sign when the European Commission President visits Georgia on Tuesday and if their chairman, Nika Melia, is released from detention.<\/p>\n<p>Melia was taken into custody in February for breaking parole terms and is facing charges of inciting violence during protests that erupted in 2019. The EU-brokered deal has implied that Melia will be released as part of the agreement.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5413470,5398114\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//23//georgian-police-raid-opposition-hq-arrest-leader/">Georgian police storm opposition HQ to arrest leader Nika Melia<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//26//protesters-gather-in-georgia-over-opposition-leader-s-arrest/">Protesters gather in Georgia over opposition leader's arrest<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>The UNM has also reiterated its intention to hold an anti-government demonstration on May 15.<\/p>\n<p>Michel said he would also discuss measures to strengthen ties between the Caucasian EU candidate country and Brussels on Tuesday.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1618916072,"publishedAt":1618919159,"updatedAt":1618919167,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/04\/20\/opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/57\/66\/40\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_a1b71f59-89cd-5e3a-8cb2-d1aded2761aa-5576640.jpg","altText":"The deal aims to end a months-long political crisi since October's parliamentary elections.","caption":"The deal aims to end a months-long political crisi since October's parliamentary elections.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"GEORGIA'S PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE \/ AFP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"738"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"9417","slug":"political-crisis","urlSafeValue":"political-crisis","title":"Political crisis","titleRaw":"Political crisis"},{"id":"105","slug":"european-union","urlSafeValue":"european-union","title":"European Union","titleRaw":"European Union"},{"id":"18000","slug":"charles-michel","urlSafeValue":"charles-michel","title":"Charles Michel","titleRaw":"Charles Michel"},{"id":"11286","slug":"opposition","urlSafeValue":"opposition","title":"Opposition","titleRaw":"Opposition"}],"related":[{"id":"1391526"},{"id":"1681578"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"related","count":"2"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AP, AFP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/04\/20\/opposition-parties-in-georgia-sign-deal-to-end-political-crisis","lastModified":1618919167},{"id":"1445306","cid":"5503886","versionId":"2","archive":0,"housenumber":"210328_SPSU_15407574","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Judo Grand Slam: Georgia, Canada & Mongolia on Top at Tbilisi 2021","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":null,"titleListing2":"Judo Grand Slam: Georgia, Canada & Mongolia on Top at Tbilisi 2021","leadin":"Day three of the Tbilisi Grand Slam had some spectacular moments to remeber. Three countries won two gold medals: Mongolia (third place), Canada (second place) and Georgia (first place), while 22 have medallists and 36 placed athletes in the final block.","summary":"Day three of the Tbilisi Grand Slam had some spectacular moments to remeber. Three countries won two gold medals: Mongolia (third place), Canada (second place) and Georgia (first place), while 22 have medallists and 36 placed athletes in the final block.","keySentence":null,"url":"judo-grand-slam-georgia-canada-mongolia-on-top-at-tbilisi-2021","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"The final day of the 2021 Tbilisi Grand Slam came to a climactic conclusion.\u00a0 Three countries actually won two gold medals: Mongolia (third place), Canada (second place) and Georgia (first place), while 22 have medallists and 36 placed athletes in the final block.\u00a0 The host country can be satisfied with this result. In a very tough and competitive context, to be among those at the top of the standings was almost guaranteed for Georgia, but the first place was anything but certain. \n\n\nGeorgian Throws a Giant in over 100kg Final \n\nGeorgian powerhouse Gela Zaalishvili gave the home nation so much to cheer for, throwing big for one Ippon after another, all through his preliminary contests.\u00a0 In the over 100 kilo-final, he stunned onlookers by launching the Brazilian World and Olympic medallist Rafael Silva through the air! The young Georgian had unstoppable raw power. Some of which he saved to celebrate with his coach. \n\n\u201cI\u2019m always ready to fight for my country, for my homeland. I think this is the right way to live, I put in big effort, I always train hard, and always try to win,\" explains Zaalishvili. \"This gives me psychological strength, and belief in myself. This gives me big power.\u201d \n\nFinal \n\nSILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs. ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nINANEISHVILI, Saba (GEO) vs. ERDOGAN, Cemal (TUR) \n\nSARNACKI, Maciej (POL) vs. GRANDA, Andy (CUB) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO) \n\n2. SILVA, Rafael (BRA) \n\n3. GRANDA, Andy (CUB) \n\n3. INANEISHVILI, Saba (GEO) \n\n5. ERDOGAN, Cemal (TUR) \n\n5. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL) \n\n7. HEGYI, Stephan (AUT) \n\n7. YUSUPOV, Alisher (UZB) \n\nPutting in the groundwork at the under 90kg Final \n\nAt the under 90kg event, veteran groundwork specialist Marcus Nyman won in typical style, a hold-down secured him his first Grand Slam Gold in 5 years.\u00a0Nyman's greater height disturbed Mungai, his Italian opponent, who had some difficulties getting close to him, but what is maybe even more dangerous with the Swede is his skill in ne-waza. An expert sequence finally caught Mungai with a strong immobilisation for ippon and Nyman's third victory in a grand slam. The\u00a0 President of the International Judo Federation Mr Marius Vizer presented the medals. \n\nFinal \n\nMUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA) vs. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nBOBONOV, Davlat (UZB) vs. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR) \n\nJANDREEV, Shermukhammad (UZB) vs. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE) \n\n2. MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA) \n\n3. BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB) \n\n3. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL) \n\n5. JANDREEV, Shermukhammad (UZB) \n\n5. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR) \n\n7. BOZBAYEV, Islam (KAZ) \n\n7. BROWN, Colton (USA) \n\nWoman of the Day \n\nOur woman of the day was China\u2019s Xu Shiyan - a big Ura Nage was the highlight of the over 78kg final, giving her a first-ever Grand Slam Gold.\u00a0 She was awarded her medal by IJF Sport Director, Mr Armen Bagdasarov. \n\n\u201cBecause of love. I think because I'm a young athlete I need to prepare more for all competitions, especially for the IJF World Tour and the Olympics,\" Shiyan says. \"But now i\u2019m young, I love judo, so i\u2019m very passionate\u201d \n\nFinal \n\nNUNES, Rochele (POR) vs. XU, Shiyan (CHN) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nHERSHKO, Raz (ISR) vs. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA) \n\nALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA) vs. WANG, Yan (CHN) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. XU, Shiyan (CHN) \n\n2. NUNES, Rochele (POR) \n\n3. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen(BRA) \n\n3. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA) \n\n5. HERSHKO, Raz (ISR) \n\n5. WANG, Yan (CHN) \n\n7. KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR) \n\n7. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR)\u00a0 \u00a0\u00a0 \n\nCanada Clinches under 100kg title \n\nIn the under 100kg category, Canada\u2019s Shady Elnahas climbed to the top of the podium.\u00a0 He defeated home favourite Sulamanidze in the final, catching the Georgian with a last-minute Kouchi gari, and holding out for the win!\u00a0 Mr Mikhail Kaveleshvili, MP and Chairperson of the Sports & Youth Issues Committee handed Shady his long-awaited gold medal. \n\nDouble Dutch in the under 78kg Final \n\nMeanwhile, the under-78kg final was an all dutch affair. As is usually the case when two athletes from the same country meet in the final block, both struggled to take the upper hand, until a sequence on the floor that looked like any other but allowed Natascha Ausma to force a submission with a clinical strangle, but in true Judo Fashion immediately check on her friend and opponent - Karen Stevenson.\u00a0 Mr Sergey Soloveychik, Vice President of the IJF and President of the European Judo Union, awarded the medals. \n\nFinal \n\nAUSMA, Natascha (NED) vs. STEVENSON, Karen (NED) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nGRAF, Bernadette (AUT) vs. LANIR, Inbar (ISR) \n\nMA, Zhenzhao (CHN) vs. BABINTSEVA, Aleksandra (RUS) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. AUSMA, Natascha (NED) \n\n2. STEVENSON, Karen (NED) \n\n3. LANIR, Inbar (ISR) \n\n3. MA, Zhenzhao (CHN) \n\n5. BABINTSEVA, Aleksandra (RUS) \n\n5. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT) \n\n7. BROLIH, Patricija (SLO) \n\n7. SHMELEVA, Antonina (RUS) \n\nPlenty more to come \n\nThe Georgian Judo juggernaut kept rolling on day 3 - so many dynamic fighters, putting on an epic Judo show. Young up and comers shone through much of the day, defeating household names and Champions.\u00a0 The competition came to a fitting end with Georgia on top of the podium, once again. \n\nMr Florin Daniel Lascau, IJF Sport Director & Acting Referee Director presented the coveted medal to the Georgian victor, who shared the moment with his teammate beside him on the podium. Concluding yet another gripping tournament for the International Judo Federation. \n\n\nJoin us\u00a0on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in Antalya, for a new grand slam in less than a week to continue to follow the adventure of the Olympic qualification races.","htmlText":"<p>The final day of the <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.ijf.org//news//show//georgia-ends-with-a-bang/">2021 Tbilisi Grand Slam<\/a> came to a climactic conclusion. Three countries actually won two gold medals: Mongolia (third place), Canada (second place) and Georgia (first place), while 22 have medallists and 36 placed athletes in the final block. The host country can be satisfied with this result. In a very tough and competitive context, to be among those at the top of the standings was almost guaranteed for Georgia, but the first place was anything but certain. <\/p>\n<h3>Georgian Throws a Giant in over 100kg Final<\/h3><p>Georgian powerhouse Gela Zaalishvili gave the home nation so much to cheer for, throwing big for one Ippon after another, all through his preliminary contests. In the over 100 kilo-final, he stunned onlookers by launching the Brazilian World and Olympic medallist Rafael Silva through the air! The young Georgian had unstoppable raw power. Some of which he saved to celebrate with his coach.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1376196346680578053\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>\u201cI\u2019m always ready to fight for my country, for my homeland. I think this is the right way to live, I put in big effort, I always train hard, and always try to win,\" explains Zaalishvili. \"This gives me psychological strength, and belief in myself. This gives me big power.\u201d<\/p>\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>SILVA, Rafael (BRA) vs. ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>INANEISHVILI, Saba (GEO) vs. ERDOGAN, Cemal (TUR)<\/p>\n<p>SARNACKI, Maciej (POL) vs. GRANDA, Andy (CUB)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. ZAALISHVILI, Gela (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>2. SILVA, Rafael (BRA)<\/p>\n<p>3. GRANDA, Andy (CUB)<\/p>\n<p>3. INANEISHVILI, Saba (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>5. ERDOGAN, Cemal (TUR)<\/p>\n<p>5. SARNACKI, Maciej (POL)<\/p>\n<p>7. HEGYI, Stephan (AUT)<\/p>\n<p>7. YUSUPOV, Alisher (UZB)<\/p>\n<h3>Putting in the groundwork at the under 90kg Final<\/h3><p>At the under 90kg event, veteran groundwork specialist Marcus Nyman won in typical style, a hold-down secured him his first Grand Slam Gold in 5 years. Nyman&#039;s greater height disturbed Mungai, his Italian opponent, who had some difficulties getting close to him, but what is maybe even more dangerous with the Swede is his skill in ne-waza. An expert sequence finally caught Mungai with a strong immobilisation for ippon and Nyman&#039;s third victory in a grand slam. The President of the International Judo Federation Mr Marius Vizer presented the medals.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1376170122155544603\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA) vs. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB) vs. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR)<\/p>\n<p>JANDREEV, Shermukhammad (UZB) vs. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. NYMAN, Marcus (SWE)<\/p>\n<p>2. MUNGAI, Nicholas (ITA)<\/p>\n<p>3. BOBONOV, Davlat (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>3. GANTULGA, Altanbagana (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>5. JANDREEV, Shermukhammad (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>5. KOCHMAN, Li (ISR)<\/p>\n<p>7. BOZBAYEV, Islam (KAZ)<\/p>\n<p>7. BROWN, Colton (USA)<\/p>\n<h3>Woman of the Day<\/h3><p>Our woman of the day was China\u2019s Xu Shiyan - a big <em>Ura Nage<\/em> was the highlight of the over 78kg final, giving her a first-ever Grand Slam Gold. She was awarded her medal by IJF Sport Director, Mr Armen Bagdasarov.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1376193885265874950\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>\u201cBecause of love. I think because I&#039;m a young athlete I need to prepare more for all competitions, especially for the IJF World Tour and the Olympics,\" Shiyan says. \"But now i\u2019m young, I love judo, so i\u2019m very passionate\u201d<\/p>\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>NUNES, Rochele (POR) vs. XU, Shiyan (CHN)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>HERSHKO, Raz (ISR) vs. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA)<\/p>\n<p>ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen (BRA) vs. WANG, Yan (CHN)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. XU, Shiyan (CHN)<\/p>\n<p>2. NUNES, Rochele (POR)<\/p>\n<p>3. ALTHEMAN, Maria Suelen(BRA)<\/p>\n<p>3. SOUZA, Beatriz (BRA)<\/p>\n<p>5. HERSHKO, Raz (ISR)<\/p>\n<p>5. WANG, Yan (CHN)<\/p>\n<p>7. KALANINA, Yelyzaveta (UKR)<\/p>\n<p>7. SLUTSKAYA, Maryna (BLR) <\/p>\n<h3>Canada Clinches under 100kg title<\/h3><p>In the under 100kg category, Canada\u2019s Shady Elnahas climbed to the top of the podium. He defeated home favourite Sulamanidze in the final, catching the Georgian with a last-minute Kouchi gari, and holding out for the win! Mr Mikhail Kaveleshvili, MP and Chairperson of the Sports &amp; Youth Issues Committee handed Shady his long-awaited gold medal.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1376229070258720771\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h3>Double Dutch in the under 78kg Final<\/h3><p>Meanwhile, the under-78kg final was an all dutch affair. As is usually the case when two athletes from the same country meet in the final block, both struggled to take the upper hand, <em>until<\/em> a sequence on the floor that looked like any other but allowed Natascha Ausma to force a submission with a clinical strangle, but in true Judo Fashion immediately check on her friend and opponent - Karen Stevenson. Mr Sergey Soloveychik, Vice President of the IJF and President of the European Judo Union, awarded the medals.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1376171267255115779\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>AUSMA, Natascha (NED) vs. STEVENSON, Karen (NED)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>GRAF, Bernadette (AUT) vs. LANIR, Inbar (ISR)<\/p>\n<p>MA, Zhenzhao (CHN) vs. BABINTSEVA, Aleksandra (RUS)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. AUSMA, Natascha (NED)<\/p>\n<p>2. STEVENSON, Karen (NED)<\/p>\n<p>3. LANIR, Inbar (ISR)<\/p>\n<p>3. MA, Zhenzhao (CHN)<\/p>\n<p>5. BABINTSEVA, Aleksandra (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>5. GRAF, Bernadette (AUT)<\/p>\n<p>7. BROLIH, Patricija (SLO)<\/p>\n<p>7. SHMELEVA, Antonina (RUS)<\/p>\n<h2>Plenty more to come<\/h2><p>The Georgian Judo juggernaut kept rolling on day 3 - so many dynamic fighters, putting on an epic Judo show. Young up and comers shone through much of the day, defeating household names and Champions. The competition came to a fitting end with Georgia on top of the podium, once again.<\/p>\n<p>Mr Florin Daniel Lascau, IJF Sport Director &amp; Acting Referee Director presented the coveted medal to the Georgian victor, who shared the moment with his teammate beside him on the podium. Concluding yet another gripping tournament for the International Judo Federation. <\/p>\n<p>Join us on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in Antalya, for a new grand slam in less than a week to continue to follow the adventure of the Olympic qualification races.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1616930449,"publishedAt":1616963744,"updatedAt":1616963846,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/03\/28\/judo-grand-slam-georgia-canada-mongolia-on-top-at-tbilisi-2021","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/50\/38\/90\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_d2e95e78-6cd1-59ca-9af3-ff08b9d7eca5-5503890.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"from Euronews video","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[{"urlSafeValue":"ohagan","title":"Jim OHagan","twitter":"@ohagan_jim"}],"producers":[{"urlSafeValue":"ohagan","title":"Jim OHagan","twitter":"@ohagan_jim"}],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"10007","slug":"judo","urlSafeValue":"judo","title":"Judo","titleRaw":"Judo"},{"id":"8525","slug":"other-sports","urlSafeValue":"other-sports","title":"Other sports","titleRaw":"Other sports"},{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"twitter","count":"5"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/SP\/SU\/21\/03\/28\/en\/210328_SPSU_15407574_15411083_180000_214438_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"180000","filesizeBytes":"17753057","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/SP\/SU\/21\/03\/28\/en\/210328_SPSU_15407574_15411083_180000_214438_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"180000","filesizeBytes":"29771350","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x808ytq"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":null,"freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"sport","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/sport"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"sport","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/sport"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"8","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/03\/28\/judo-grand-slam-georgia-canada-mongolia-on-top-at-tbilisi-2021","lastModified":1616963846},{"id":"1444200","cid":"5502154","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210327_SPSU_15407238","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Judo Grand Slam: relentless technique on Day 2 in Georgia","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Judo Grand Slam: relentless technique on Day 2 in Georgia","titleListing2":"Judo Grand Slam: relentless technique on Day 2 in Georgia\nCanada comes out strongly with two finalists, including a title, while Brazil and Belgium beat the odds in two still hotly contested categories.","leadin":"Canada comes out strongly with two finalists, including a title, while Brazil and Belgium beat the odds in two still hotly contested categories.","summary":"Canada comes out strongly with two finalists, including a title, while Brazil and Belgium beat the odds in two still hotly contested categories.","keySentence":null,"url":"judo-grand-slam-relentless-technique-on-day-2-in-georgia","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"The second day of the Tbilisi Grand Slam showcased just how exciting Judo can be.\u00a0 In the under 81kg category, Sami Chouchi had the day of his life. The explosive Belgian demolished his way through a class field with the most relentless Judo. It was impossible to foresee in which direction the next throw might come.\u00a0 He took on home favourite Grigalashvili in the semi-final and clinched the bout with a blistering counter technique. \n\nThen, fully focussed for the final, he caught his Austrian opponent on the ground, strangling him to take his first-ever Grand Slam Gold. Chouchi was overcome with emotion and\u00a0 was awarded his medal by renowned Singer, Moris Janashvili. \n\n\"For my family, My girlfriend, my daughter, they are really supporting me, it is as hard for them as it is for me, so I am very thankful for that support,\" he told reporters. \n\nFinal \n\nCHOUCHI, Sami (BEL) vs. BORCHASHVILI, Shamil (AUT) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nFATIYEV, Murad (AZE) vs. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN) \n\nKHUBETSOV, Alan (RUS) vs. GRIGALASHVILI, Tato (GEO) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. CHOUCHI, Sami (BEL) \n\n2. BORCHASHVILI, Shamil (AUT) \n\n3. FATIYEV, Murad (AZE) \n\n3. GRIGALASHVILI, Tato (GEO) \n\n5. KHUBETSOV, Alan (RUS) \n\n5. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN) \n\n7. EGUTIDZE, Anri (POR) \n\n7. GOTONOAGA, Dorin (MDA) \n\nA Canadian Comeback in the under-63kg category \n\nCatherine Beauchemin-Pinard looked strong all day in the under 63kg bouts - a powerful dropping throw in the final against China\u2019s Yang earned the Canadian her first Grand Slam Gold medal in 7 years, making her our woman of the day. She shared her heartfelt joy with her coach. \n\nAfter Alin Petrache, President of the Romanian Rugby Federation awarded her the gold medal, Beauchemin-Pinard explained her winning moves: \n\n\"It is one of my favourite techniques, I am not a big thrower, usually, I'm more like Ne-waza, but she was really good at ne-waza too so it was really even for newaza. And I was feeling like I was more powerful with tachi waza with her. So I took the opportunity and did my biggest throw, and I am really happy with it. \n\n\nFinal \n\nBEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN) vs. YANG, Junxia (CHN) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nOZBAS, Szofi (HUN) vs. VAN DEN BERG, Geke (NED) \n\nRENSHALL, Lucy (GBR) vs. DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN) \n\n2. YANG, Junxia (CHN) \n\n3. DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS) \n\n3. VAN DEN BERG, Geke (NED) \n\n5. OZBAS, Szofi (HUN) \n\n5. RENSHALL, Lucy (GBR) \n\n7. FAZLIU, Laura (KOS) \n\n7. QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA) \n\nThe Mongolian under 73kg Master\u00a0 \n\nTsend-Ochir was a force to reckoned with in the under 73kg heats. The Mongolian showed no signs of slowing down and a final fast attack secured him yet another Gold medal.\u00a0 His Canadian opponent Arthur Margelidon upheld judo's values with grace and sportsmanship in defeat. \n\nTsend-Ochir was awarded his medal by Mr David Kevhisvhili, Vice President of the Georgian Judo Federation. \n\nFinal \n\nMARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN) vs. TSEND-OCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nSHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS) \n\nMAMIASHVILI, Aleko (GEO) vs. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. TSEND-OCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL) \n\n2. MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN) \n\n3. MAMIASHVILI, Aleko (GEO) \n\n3. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) \n\n5. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS) \n\n5. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS) \n\n7. KARAPETIAN, Ferdinand (ARM) \n\n7. YULDOSHEV, Murodjon (UZB) \n\nBrazil get gold in under 70kg \n\nAt -70kg Brazil\u2019s Maria Portela was delighted to stand atop a Grand Slam podium after a 3-year absence.\u00a0 Mr Azizjon Kamilov, President of the Uzbekistan Judo Federation, presented the medals. \n\nOnce again, the Tbilisi Grand Slam offered up some tremendous Georgian Judo, with the country holding its own on the international stage.\u00a0 Firm favourite Grigalashvili may have taken a fall on the mat, but he, Maalishvili and the entire team had the unwavering support of Georgians watching the world over. \n\nFinal \n\nPORTELA, Maria (BRA) vs. TAIMAZOVA, Madina (RUS) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nPOGACNIK, Anka (SLO) vs. MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB) \n\nCRISOSTOMO, Joana (POR) vs. WILLEMS, Gabriella (BEL) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. PORTELA, Maria (BRA) \n\n2. TAIMAZOVA, Madina (RUS) \n\n3. MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB) \n\n3. WILLEMS, Gabriella (BEL) \n\n5. CRISOSTOMO, Joana (POR) \n\n5. POGACNIK, Anka (SLO) \n\n7. ALREBAI, Asma (BRN) \n\n7. COUGHLAN, Aoife (AUS)","htmlText":"<p>The second day of the <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.ijf.org///">Tbilisi Grand Slam<\/a> showcased just how exciting Judo can be. In the under 81kg category, Sami Chouchi had the day of his life. The explosive Belgian demolished his way through a class field with the most relentless Judo. It was impossible to foresee in which direction the next throw might come. He took on home favourite Grigalashvili in the semi-final and clinched the bout with a blistering counter technique.<\/p>\n<p>Then, fully focussed for the final, he caught his Austrian opponent on the ground, strangling him to take his first-ever Grand Slam Gold. Chouchi was overcome with emotion and was awarded his medal by renowned Singer, Moris Janashvili.<\/p>\n<p>\"For my family, My girlfriend, my daughter, they are really supporting me, it is as hard for them as it is for me, so I am very thankful for that support,\" he told reporters.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375823740982996994\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>CHOUCHI, Sami (BEL) vs. BORCHASHVILI, Shamil (AUT)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>FATIYEV, Murad (AZE) vs. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)<\/p>\n<p>KHUBETSOV, Alan (RUS) vs. GRIGALASHVILI, Tato (GEO)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. CHOUCHI, Sami (BEL)<\/p>\n<p>2. BORCHASHVILI, Shamil (AUT)<\/p>\n<p>3. FATIYEV, Murad (AZE)<\/p>\n<p>3. GRIGALASHVILI, Tato (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>5. KHUBETSOV, Alan (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>5. VALOIS-FORTIER, Antoine (CAN)<\/p>\n<p>7. EGUTIDZE, Anri (POR)<\/p>\n<p>7. GOTONOAGA, Dorin (MDA)<\/p>\n<h3>A Canadian Comeback in the under-63kg category<\/h3><p>Catherine Beauchemin-Pinard looked strong all day in the under 63kg bouts - a powerful dropping throw in the final against China\u2019s Yang earned the Canadian her first Grand Slam Gold medal in 7 years, making her our woman of the day. She shared her heartfelt joy with her coach.<\/p>\n<p>After Alin Petrache, President of the Romanian Rugby Federation awarded her the gold medal, Beauchemin-Pinard explained her winning moves:<\/p>\n<p>\"It is one of my favourite techniques, I am not a big thrower, usually, I&#039;m more like Ne-waza, but she was really good at ne-waza too so it was really even for newaza. And I was feeling like I was more powerful with tachi waza with her. So I took the opportunity and did my biggest throw, and I am really happy with it. <\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375802532438683650\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN) vs. YANG, Junxia (CHN)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>OZBAS, Szofi (HUN) vs. VAN DEN BERG, Geke (NED)<\/p>\n<p>RENSHALL, Lucy (GBR) vs. DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. BEAUCHEMIN-PINARD, Catherine (CAN)<\/p>\n<p>2. YANG, Junxia (CHN)<\/p>\n<p>3. DAVYDOVA, Daria (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>3. VAN DEN BERG, Geke (NED)<\/p>\n<p>5. OZBAS, Szofi (HUN)<\/p>\n<p>5. RENSHALL, Lucy (GBR)<\/p>\n<p>7. FAZLIU, Laura (KOS)<\/p>\n<p>7. QUADROS, Ketleyn (BRA)<\/p>\n<h3>The Mongolian under 73kg Master<\/h3><p>Tsend-Ochir was a force to reckoned with in the under 73kg heats. The Mongolian showed no signs of slowing down and a final fast attack secured him yet another Gold medal. His Canadian opponent Arthur Margelidon upheld judo&#039;s values with grace and sportsmanship in defeat.<\/p>\n<p>Tsend-Ochir was awarded his medal by Mr David Kevhisvhili, Vice President of the Georgian Judo Federation.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375809794280460289\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN) vs. TSEND-OCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO) vs. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)<\/p>\n<p>MAMIASHVILI, Aleko (GEO) vs. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. TSEND-OCHIR, Tsogtbaatar (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>2. MARGELIDON, Arthur (CAN)<\/p>\n<p>3. MAMIASHVILI, Aleko (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>3. SHAVDATUASHVILI, Lasha (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>5. GJAKOVA, Akil (KOS)<\/p>\n<p>5. IARTCEV, Denis (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>7. KARAPETIAN, Ferdinand (ARM)<\/p>\n<p>7. YULDOSHEV, Murodjon (UZB)<\/p>\n<h3>Brazil get gold in under 70kg<\/h3><p>At -70kg Brazil\u2019s Maria Portela was delighted to stand atop a Grand Slam podium after a 3-year absence. Mr Azizjon Kamilov, President of the Uzbekistan Judo Federation, presented the medals.<\/p>\n<p>Once again, the Tbilisi Grand Slam offered up some tremendous Georgian Judo, with the country holding its own on the international stage. Firm favourite Grigalashvili may have taken a fall on the mat, but he, Maalishvili and the entire team had the unwavering support of Georgians watching the world over.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375822578426781696\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>PORTELA, Maria (BRA) vs. TAIMAZOVA, Madina (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>POGACNIK, Anka (SLO) vs. MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>CRISOSTOMO, Joana (POR) vs. WILLEMS, Gabriella (BEL)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. PORTELA, Maria (BRA)<\/p>\n<p>2. TAIMAZOVA, Madina (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>3. MATNIYAZOVA, Gulnoza (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>3. WILLEMS, Gabriella (BEL)<\/p>\n<p>5. CRISOSTOMO, Joana (POR)<\/p>\n<p>5. POGACNIK, Anka (SLO)<\/p>\n<p>7. ALREBAI, Asma (BRN)<\/p>\n<p>7. COUGHLAN, Aoife (AUS)<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1616868723,"publishedAt":1616879847,"updatedAt":1616879851,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/03\/27\/judo-grand-slam-relentless-technique-on-day-2-in-georgia","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/50\/21\/58\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_79d93c0d-29fa-582f-9cf7-d0367fc842f8-5502158.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"from Euronews video","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"960","height":"540"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[{"urlSafeValue":"ohagan","title":"Jim OHagan","twitter":"@ohagan_jim"}],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"10007","slug":"judo","urlSafeValue":"judo","title":"Judo","titleRaw":"Judo"},{"id":"8525","slug":"other-sports","urlSafeValue":"other-sports","title":"Other sports","titleRaw":"Other sports"},{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"twitter","count":"4"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/SP\/SU\/21\/03\/27\/en\/210327_SPSU_15407238_15407296_180040_214029_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"180040","filesizeBytes":"17624869","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/SP\/SU\/21\/03\/27\/en\/210327_SPSU_15407238_15407296_180040_214029_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"180040","filesizeBytes":"29484287","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x808ggb"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"IJF","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Nicolas Messner","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"sport","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/sport"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"sport","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/sport"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"8","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/03\/27\/judo-grand-slam-relentless-technique-on-day-2-in-georgia","lastModified":1616879851},{"id":"1442684","cid":"5498610","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210326_SPSU_15398361","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Judo Grand Slam: Georgian judoka take early lead in Tbilisi","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":null,"titleListing2":"Slick judo displays all around leave five countries with five gold medals at the close of day 1 at the International Judo Federation's 2021 Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia.","leadin":"Slick judo displays all around leave five countries with five gold medals at the close of day 1 at the International Judo Federation's 2021 Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia.","summary":"Slick judo displays all around leave five countries with five gold medals at the close of day 1 at the International Judo Federation's 2021 Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia.","keySentence":null,"url":"judo-grand-slam-georgian-judoka-take-early-lead-in-tbilisi","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Slick judo displays all around leave five countries with five gold medals at the close of day 1 at the International Judo Federation's 2021 Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia. \n\nThere is no crowd at the Tbilisi Grand Slam , in keeping with the need to preserve the health of the community, but there are, however, three tatami and offensive, risky judo on offer. \n\n\nAfter one day of competition, Georgia already takes the lead with three finals for one gold medal, but Uzbekistan and Italy are not far behind, with only one silver medal difference, while Mongolia and Kosovo are close too. The results show a great diversity of countries, with 5 countries having already won at least one gold medal. Altogether, 14 countries won a medal on day 1 and 23 were represented \u00a0in the final block. \n\nIn judo circles, Georgia is sometimes known as 'the land of Champions'\u00a0 and Temur Nozadze certainly lived up to that title, showing the World what Georgian Judo is all about. The young and explosive fighter tore through the competition with one spectacular throw after another. After narrowly missing out on Gold in Tel Aviv last month, Nozadze stood atop his first Grand Slam podium, doing his home country proud. \n\n\n\u201cIt is a big honour for me to fight here in my home of Georgia, it inspires me to work even harder to fight in the biggest and most epic tournaments in the World,\" the under-60kg champion told reporters. \n\nFinal \n\nNURILLAEV, Kemran (UZB) vs. NOZADZE, Temur (GEO) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nSAIDABUROROV, Shahboz (TJK) vs. TSJAKADOEA, Tornike (NED) \n\nHUSEYNOV, Karamat (AZE) vs. SIMEONIDIS, Konstantin (RUS) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. NOZADZE, Temur (GEO) \n\n2. NURILLAEV, Kemran (UZB) \n\n3. HUSEYNOV, Karamat (AZE) \n\n3. SAIDABUROROV, Shahboz (TJK) \n\n5. SIMEONIDIS, Konstantin (RUS) \n\n5. TSJAKADOEA, Tornike (NED) \n\n7. ENKHTAIVAN, Ariunbold (MGL) \n\n7. VEREDYBA, Oleh (UKR) \n\n-52kg: GIUFFRIDA Stops GILES For Gold \n\nThe under 48kg Veteran \n\nThe light categories opened the competition that will end on Sunday, with the enthusiasm of the newcomers and the determination of the old guard. There was particular interest in seeing Mongolian Urantsetseg Munkhbat who was tipped as the woman to beat in Tbilisi. Following on from her third place in Doha, during the World Judo Masters and her title in Tashkent two weeks ago, the Mongolian, world champion in 2013 and still very competitive, qualified once again for the final of a World Judo Tour event. This secured her a 39th medal on the circuit, not counting her three world medals. \n\nSpanish rivalry and the underdog \n\nWe also expected the confrontation between the two Spaniards, Laura Martinez Abelenda and Julia Figueroa, while they still race towards an Olympic selection. It was Julia Figueroa who seemed to gain the upper hand over her compatriot on the other side of the draw, as she qualified for the semi-final, but her road to the podium was suddenly blocked when she was defeated by the Italian Francesca Milani, who was not among the seeds when warming up at the beginning of the day. With no record on the World Judo Tour so far, Milani can certainly be proud of an amazing competition day. \n\nUnsurprisingly Urantsetseg Munkhbat won the gold medal but Milani certainly gave it her all with courage and determination. The seasoned Mongolian was too powerful for her young opponent and after several attempts on the floor, finally concluded with an immobilisation that was awarded ippon, just one second before the end of the match. \n\nLaura Martinez Abelenda and Julia Figueroa thus eventually met for the bronze medal. Knowing one another perfectly, it took more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds for Figueroa to finally score with a beautiful o-uchi-gari, to reinforce her lead over her teammate for the Olympic qualification. \n\nFinal \n\nMUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs. MILANI, Francesca (ITA) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nMARTINEZ ABELENDA, Laura (ESP) vs. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP) \n\nCOSTA, Catarina (POR) vs. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) \n\n2. MILANI, Francesca (ITA) \n\n3. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP) \n\n3. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO) \n\n5. COSTA, Catarina (POR) \n\n5. MARTINEZ ABELENDA, Laura (ESP) \n\n7. PETIT, Lois (BEL) \n\n7. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU) \n\nItaly versus Britain in under-52kg heat \n\nSilver medallist at the last Olympic Games, Italian judoka Odette Giuffrida, also winner of the 2020 European Championships, perfectly fulfilled her role as the favourite at this Grand Slam. She qualified for the final against the Brit Chelsie Giles, gold medallist in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago, thus demonstrating that her victory in Israel was not by chance. \n\nAlmost ten minutes were necessary for Odette Giuffrida to stop Chelsie Giles from winning her second grand slam gold medal in a row, but that was close as neither of the two champions was able to find the slightest throwing opportunity, between the failed tai-otoshi attempt of the Italian and the no more successful uchi-mata of Giles, both showed they are getting ready for the Olympic rendezvous this summer and since the Italian already did it five years ago in Rio, anything is possible. \n\nFinal \n\nGIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs. GILES, Chelsie (GBR) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nRAMOS, Joana (POR) vs. PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA) \n\nPUPP, Reka (HUN) vs. LEVYTSKA-SHUKVANI, Tetiana (GEO) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) \n\n2. GILES, Chelsie (GBR) \n\n3. PUPP, Reka (HUN) \n\n3. RAMOS, Joana (POR) \n\n5. LEVYTSKA-SHUKVANI, Tetiana (GEO) \n\n5. PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA) \n\n7. DELGADO, Angelica (USA) \n\n7. VAN KREVEL, Naomi (NED) \n\n-66kg: Georgian Judoka Surprises Everyone \n\nIn the -66kg category final we again found a Georgian athlete, Vazha Margvelashvili. This is not really a surprise since the bronze medallist of the last World Judo Masters was seeded number one in the competition. In the final, he faced the number 4 seed, Uzbek Sardor Nurrilaev, who climbed up one more level after his bronze medal in Tashkent two weeks ago. \n\nIt took only 20 seconds for Nurrilaev to score an impressive ippon after he had engaged an o-uchi-gari that went outside the fighting area, but in a brilliant change of direction, Nurrilaev transformed the backward momentum into a brilliant uchi-mata. Margvelashvili could only look at the referee with astonishment. The ippon was crystal clear and a good example of the fact that you should never relax until the referee actually says: 'mate'. \n\nMedal, flowers and cheques were presented by Mr Giorgi Atabegashvili, President of the Georgian Judo Federation and Mr Udo Quellmalz, IJF Refereeing Supervisor, Olympic and double World Champion \n\nFinal \n\nMARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO) vs. NURILLAEV, Sardor (UZB) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nNINIASHVILI, Bagrati (GEO) vs. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL) \n\nPULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS) vs. VIERU, Denis (MDA) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. NURILLAEV, Sardor (UZB) \n\n2. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO) \n\n3. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL) \n\n3. PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS) \n\n5. NINIASHVILI, Bagrati (GEO) \n\n5. VIERU, Denis (MDA) \n\n7. ABDELMAWGOUD, Mohamed (EGY) \n\n7. TILOVOV, Mukhriddin (UZB) \n\n-57kg: GJAKOVA Shows Strength to Win Gold \n\nA Georgian athlete in the final illustrated once again the rise of local female competitors. Eteri Liparteliani is not a complete unknown however, having been junior world champion in 2019. She continues to assert herself on the World Judo Tour and won a beautiful bronze medal in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago. We must also remember that in the semi-final she eliminated the reigning world champion, the Canadian Christa Deguchi, who returned to competition at this grand slam. In the final, Liparteliani found Kosovan Nora Gjakova, another regular on the international circuit. \n\nThe least we can say is that both women put an incredible amount of energy and power into the final and into controlling the upper part of the body. In that game, Gjakova came out on top. After scoring a waza-ari, she controlled the rest of the match to win the gold. It is now certain that it is not the last time that we will see LIPARTELIANI at that level of competition. \n\nMedal, flowers and cheques were presented by Dr Lisa Allan, Events Director of the International Judo Federation and Mr Shengeli Pitskhelauri, World Bronze Medallist & European medallist \n\nFinal \n\nLIPARTELIANI, Eteri (GEO) vs. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS) \n\nBronze Medal Contests \n\nMEZHETSKAIA, Daria (RUS) vs. KAJZER, Kaja (SLO) \n\nPERISIC, Marica (SRB) vs. DEGUCHI, Christa (CAN) \n\nFinal Results \n\n1. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS) \n\n2. LIPARTELIANI, Eteri (GEO) \n\n3. DEGUCHI, Christa (CAN) \n\n3. MEZHETSKAIA, Daria (RUS) \n\n5. KAJZER, Kaja (SLO) \n\n5. PERISIC, Marica (SRB) \n\n7. KONKINA, Anastasiia (RUS) \n\n7. NASCIMENTO, Ketelyn (BRA)","htmlText":"<p>Slick judo displays all around leave five countries with five gold medals at the close of day 1 at the International Judo Federation&#039;s 2021 Grand Slam in Tbilisi, Georgia.<\/p>\n<p>There is no crowd at the <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.ijf.org//news//list?tag%5B0%5D=competition\%22>Tbilisi Grand Slam<\/a>, in keeping with the need to preserve the health of the community, but there are, however, three tatami and offensive, risky judo on offer. <\/p>\n<p>After one day of competition, Georgia already takes the lead with three finals for one gold medal, but Uzbekistan and Italy are not far behind, with only one silver medal difference, while Mongolia and Kosovo are close too. The results show a great diversity of countries, with 5 countries having already won at least one gold medal. Altogether, 14 countries won a medal on day 1 and 23 were represented in the final block.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375455590634426378\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375459814998994947\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>In judo circles, Georgia is sometimes known as &#039;the land of Champions&#039; and Temur Nozadze certainly lived up to that title, showing the World what Georgian Judo is all about. The young and explosive fighter tore through the competition with one spectacular throw after another. After narrowly missing out on Gold in Tel Aviv last month, Nozadze stood atop his first Grand Slam podium, doing his home country proud. <\/p>\n<p>\u201cIt is a big honour for me to fight here in my home of Georgia, it inspires me to work even harder to fight in the biggest and most epic tournaments in the World,\" the under-60kg champion told reporters.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375534552676982791\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>NURILLAEV, Kemran (UZB) vs. NOZADZE, Temur (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>SAIDABUROROV, Shahboz (TJK) vs. TSJAKADOEA, Tornike (NED)<\/p>\n<p>HUSEYNOV, Karamat (AZE) vs. SIMEONIDIS, Konstantin (RUS)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. NOZADZE, Temur (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>2. NURILLAEV, Kemran (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>3. HUSEYNOV, Karamat (AZE)<\/p>\n<p>3. SAIDABUROROV, Shahboz (TJK)<\/p>\n<p>5. SIMEONIDIS, Konstantin (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>5. TSJAKADOEA, Tornike (NED)<\/p>\n<p>7. ENKHTAIVAN, Ariunbold (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>7. VEREDYBA, Oleh (UKR)<\/p>\n<p>-52kg: GIUFFRIDA Stops GILES For Gold<\/p>\n<h3>The under 48kg Veteran<\/h3><p>The light categories opened the competition that will end on Sunday, with the enthusiasm of the newcomers and the determination of the old guard. There was particular interest in seeing Mongolian Urantsetseg Munkhbat who was tipped as the woman to beat in Tbilisi. Following on from her third place in Doha, during the World Judo Masters and her title in Tashkent two weeks ago, the Mongolian, world champion in 2013 and still very competitive, qualified once again for the final of a World Judo Tour event. This secured her a 39th medal on the circuit, not counting her three world medals.<\/p>\n<h3>Spanish rivalry and the underdog<\/h3><div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375498983246852105\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>We also expected the confrontation between the two Spaniards, Laura Martinez Abelenda and Julia Figueroa, while they still race towards an Olympic selection. It was Julia Figueroa who seemed to gain the upper hand over her compatriot on the other side of the draw, as she qualified for the semi-final, but her road to the podium was suddenly blocked when she was defeated by the Italian Francesca Milani, who was not among the seeds when warming up at the beginning of the day. With no record on the World Judo Tour so far, Milani can certainly be proud of an amazing competition day.<\/p>\n<p>Unsurprisingly Urantsetseg Munkhbat won the gold medal but Milani certainly gave it her all with courage and determination. The seasoned Mongolian was too powerful for her young opponent and after several attempts on the floor, finally concluded with an immobilisation that was awarded ippon, just one second before the end of the match.<\/p>\n<p>Laura Martinez Abelenda and Julia Figueroa thus eventually met for the bronze medal. Knowing one another perfectly, it took more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds for Figueroa to finally score with a beautiful o-uchi-gari, to reinforce her lead over her teammate for the Olympic qualification.<\/p>\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL) vs. MILANI, Francesca (ITA)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>MARTINEZ ABELENDA, Laura (ESP) vs. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)<\/p>\n<p>COSTA, Catarina (POR) vs. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. MUNKHBAT, Urantsetseg (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>2. MILANI, Francesca (ITA)<\/p>\n<p>3. FIGUEROA, Julia (ESP)<\/p>\n<p>3. STANGAR, Marusa (SLO)<\/p>\n<p>5. COSTA, Catarina (POR)<\/p>\n<p>5. MARTINEZ ABELENDA, Laura (ESP)<\/p>\n<p>7. PETIT, Lois (BEL)<\/p>\n<p>7. UNGUREANU, Monica (ROU)<\/p>\n<h3>Italy versus Britain in under-52kg heat<\/h3><p>Silver medallist at the last Olympic Games, Italian judoka Odette Giuffrida, also winner of the 2020 European Championships, perfectly fulfilled her role as the favourite at this Grand Slam. She qualified for the final against the Brit Chelsie Giles, gold medallist in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago, thus demonstrating that her victory in Israel was not by chance.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375519807735537664\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Almost ten minutes were necessary for Odette Giuffrida to stop Chelsie Giles from winning her second grand slam gold medal in a row, but that was close as neither of the two champions was able to find the slightest throwing opportunity, between the failed tai-otoshi attempt of the Italian and the no more successful uchi-mata of Giles, both showed they are getting ready for the Olympic rendezvous this summer and since the Italian already did it five years ago in Rio, anything is possible.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375473548727304195\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA) vs. GILES, Chelsie (GBR)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>RAMOS, Joana (POR) vs. PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA)<\/p>\n<p>PUPP, Reka (HUN) vs. LEVYTSKA-SHUKVANI, Tetiana (GEO)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. GIUFFRIDA, Odette (ITA)<\/p>\n<p>2. GILES, Chelsie (GBR)<\/p>\n<p>3. PUPP, Reka (HUN)<\/p>\n<p>3. RAMOS, Joana (POR)<\/p>\n<p>5. LEVYTSKA-SHUKVANI, Tetiana (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>5. PIMENTA, Larissa (BRA)<\/p>\n<p>7. DELGADO, Angelica (USA)<\/p>\n<p>7. VAN KREVEL, Naomi (NED)<\/p>\n<h3>-66kg: Georgian Judoka Surprises Everyone<\/h3><p>In the -66kg category final we again found a Georgian athlete, Vazha Margvelashvili. This is not really a surprise since the bronze medallist of the last World Judo Masters was seeded number one in the competition. In the final, he faced the number 4 seed, Uzbek Sardor Nurrilaev, who climbed up one more level after his bronze medal in Tashkent two weeks ago.<\/p>\n<p>It took only 20 seconds for Nurrilaev to score an impressive ippon after he had engaged an o-uchi-gari that went outside the fighting area, but in a brilliant change of direction, Nurrilaev transformed the backward momentum into a brilliant uchi-mata. Margvelashvili could only look at the referee with astonishment. The ippon was crystal clear and a good example of the fact that you should never relax until the referee actually says: &#039;mate&#039;.<\/p>\n<p>Medal, flowers and cheques were presented by Mr Giorgi Atabegashvili, President of the Georgian Judo Federation and Mr Udo Quellmalz, IJF Refereeing Supervisor, Olympic and double World Champion<\/p>\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO) vs. NURILLAEV, Sardor (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>NINIASHVILI, Bagrati (GEO) vs. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS) vs. VIERU, Denis (MDA)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. NURILLAEV, Sardor (UZB)<\/p>\n<p>2. MARGVELASHVILI, Vazha (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>3. GANBOLD, Kherlen (MGL)<\/p>\n<p>3. PULIAEV, Mikhail (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>5. NINIASHVILI, Bagrati (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>5. VIERU, Denis (MDA)<\/p>\n<p>7. ABDELMAWGOUD, Mohamed (EGY)<\/p>\n<p>7. TILOVOV, Mukhriddin (UZB)<\/p>\n<h3>-57kg: GJAKOVA Shows Strength to Win Gold<\/h3><div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1375473153422602250\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>A Georgian athlete in the final illustrated once again the rise of local female competitors. Eteri Liparteliani is not a complete unknown however, having been junior world champion in 2019. She continues to assert herself on the World Judo Tour and won a beautiful bronze medal in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago. We must also remember that in the semi-final she eliminated the reigning world champion, the Canadian Christa Deguchi, who returned to competition at this grand slam. In the final, Liparteliani found Kosovan Nora Gjakova, another regular on the international circuit.<\/p>\n<p>The least we can say is that both women put an incredible amount of energy and power into the final and into controlling the upper part of the body. In that game, Gjakova came out on top. After scoring a waza-ari, she controlled the rest of the match to win the gold. It is now certain that it is not the last time that we will see LIPARTELIANI at that level of competition.<\/p>\n<p>Medal, flowers and cheques were presented by Dr Lisa Allan, Events Director of the International Judo Federation and Mr Shengeli Pitskhelauri, World Bronze Medallist &amp; European medallist<\/p>\n<h2>Final<\/h2><p>LIPARTELIANI, Eteri (GEO) vs. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS)<\/p>\n<p>Bronze Medal Contests<\/p>\n<p>MEZHETSKAIA, Daria (RUS) vs. KAJZER, Kaja (SLO)<\/p>\n<p>PERISIC, Marica (SRB) vs. DEGUCHI, Christa (CAN)<\/p>\n<h2>Final Results<\/h2><p>1. GJAKOVA, Nora (KOS)<\/p>\n<p>2. LIPARTELIANI, Eteri (GEO)<\/p>\n<p>3. DEGUCHI, Christa (CAN)<\/p>\n<p>3. MEZHETSKAIA, Daria (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>5. KAJZER, Kaja (SLO)<\/p>\n<p>5. PERISIC, Marica (SRB)<\/p>\n<p>7. KONKINA, Anastasiia (RUS)<\/p>\n<p>7. NASCIMENTO, Ketelyn (BRA)<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1616770676,"publishedAt":1616792147,"updatedAt":1616792152,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/03\/26\/judo-grand-slam-georgian-judoka-take-early-lead-in-tbilisi","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/49\/86\/14\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_bb126ca2-24c5-5c15-a0af-f7723f13bd9e-5498614.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Markus Schreiber\/Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"4448","height":"2660"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"10007","slug":"judo","urlSafeValue":"judo","title":"Judo","titleRaw":"Judo"},{"id":"8525","slug":"other-sports","urlSafeValue":"other-sports","title":"Other sports","titleRaw":"Other sports"},{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"twitter","count":"7"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/SP\/SU\/21\/03\/26\/en\/210326_SPSU_15398361_15398441_180000_205029_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"180000","filesizeBytes":"18016909","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/SP\/SU\/21\/03\/26\/en\/210326_SPSU_15398361_15398441_180000_205029_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"180000","filesizeBytes":"29560219","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x807v8t"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"IJF","additionalSources":"IJF","additionalReporting":"Nicolas Messner, Jo Crowley, Pedro Lasuen","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"sport","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/sport"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"sport","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/sport"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"8","urlSafeValue":"sport","title":"Sport"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/03\/26\/judo-grand-slam-georgian-judoka-take-early-lead-in-tbilisi","lastModified":1616792152},{"id":"1423898","cid":"5453922","versionId":"4","archive":0,"housenumber":"210315_TNSU_15265338","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Cheap living, great WiFi and safe surroundings: Why digital nomads are flocking to Georgia","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Cheap living and great WiFi: Digital nomads are flocking to Georgia","titleListing2":"Cheap living, great WiFi and safe surroundings: Why digital nomads are flocking to Georgia","leadin":"A must-see bucket list country pre-pandemic, Georgia is the latest destination to tempt digital nomads to stay.","summary":"A must-see bucket list country pre-pandemic, Georgia is the latest destination to tempt digital nomads to stay.","keySentence":null,"url":"cheap-living-great-wifi-and-safe-surroundings-why-digital-nomads-are-flocking-to-georgia","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"A country that has become immensely popular in recent years as a tourist destination, Georgia is now seeing an influx of thousands of foreigners flocking from all corners of the world to work there remotely. \n\nBut the delicious local cuisine, culture and scenic beauty alone do not explain the interest of \"digital nomads\" in this nation of less than four million people, wedged between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains. \n\n\"Life is much cheaper here, internet access is very good and security is better than in most countries in the world,\" says Candy Treft, 51, a former medical worker from the US: \n\nArriving in Georgia in 2019, this seasoned traveller has now opened a shared office space for teleworkers in a house in the old town of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. \n\nBurgeoning tourism sector hit by COVID-19 \n\nGeorgia has already emerged as a tourist destination with the launch in 2004 of major infrastructure projects and the renovation of several city centres, such as the coastal city of Batumi and Mestia, at the foot of the mountains. \n\nIn 2019, around nine million tourists visited the country, more than twice the size of the Georgian population. \n\nHowever, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to this sector, which accounted for 5 per cent of Georgia's GDP. In 2020, the economy contracted by 6 per cent and lost over 100,000 jobs, according to official figures. \n\nIn the hope of compensating for these losses, the Georgian government launched a programme last summer to attract wealthy remote workers with the promise of travel despite anti-COVID-19 restrictions. \n\n\"This programme aims to attract visitors with high incomes in a situation where a massive influx of tourists is impossible,\" Tea Tchantchibadze, spokesperson for the National Tourism Administration, told AFP. \n\nLive and work in Georgia for a year \n\nThe scheme allows nationals from 95 countries who can prove a monthly income of more than $2,000 (\u20ac1,670) to come and live and work in Georgia for a year. They must also have tested negative for coronavirus or been vaccinated against the disease. \n\nAbout 2,300 people have applied for the programme, and more than 800 have already arrived in the country, says Tchantchibadze. \n\nGeorgia had the epidemic under control until late summer 2020, but the situation has worsened since September. By the end of February, the country had recorded nearly 270,000 infections, resulting in about 2,500 deaths. \n\nAndrew Braun, a 28-year-old computer developer from New Jersey, US, says Georgia is \"a great place to explore even in the time of Covid\". \n\n\"What I like most is the friendliness and openness of the culture. I'm an outsider but I never feel too out of place here,\" he says, noting the increasing arrival of other \"digital nomads\". \n\nAccording to him, they have diverse profiles but are attracted by a common curiosity and a \"desire to explore\". \n\nLifestyle drawbacks \n\nCompared to ordinary tourists, he believes that these 21st century nomads \"can immerse themselves a bit more in the countries and cultures\" where they work. \n\nHowever, this lifestyle also has its drawbacks and constraints. \n\nAccording to a study by Britain's Cranfield University, companies tend to \"reinforce\" the workload of their remote employees \"with demands that cannot be met within a certain time frame\". \n\nOvertime, round-the-clock e-mail, lack of holiday time or sleep: all of these practices are encouraged by remote working and can have a negative impact on health. Even in Georgia. \n\nNot to mention the loneliness of travellers far from their families. \n\nBraun admits that sometimes life is \"better\" when you work abroad. But sometimes, \"you take all your problems with you, too\". \n\nEvery weekday at 21.00 CET, Euronews Travel brings you a story from somewhere different around the world. Download the Euronews app to get an alert for this and other breaking news. It's available on Apple and Android devices.","htmlText":"<p>A country that has become immensely popular in recent years as a tourist destination, Georgia is now seeing an influx of thousands of foreigners flocking from all corners of the world to work there remotely.<\/p>\n<p>But the delicious local cuisine, culture and scenic beauty alone do not explain the interest of \"digital nomads\" in this nation of less than four million people, wedged between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.<\/p>\n<p>\"Life is much cheaper here, internet access is very good and security is better than in most countries in the world,\" says Candy Treft, 51, a former medical worker from the US:<\/p>\n<p>Arriving in Georgia in 2019, this seasoned traveller has now opened a shared office space for teleworkers in a house in the old town of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-quotation\n widget--size-fullwidth\n widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__content\">\n <blockquote class=\"widget__quote\">\n <span class=\"widget__quoteText\">What I like most is the friendliness and openness of the culture. I'm an outsider but I never feel too out of place here<\/span>\n <\/blockquote>\n <cite class=\"widget__author\">\n <div class=\"widget__authorText\">\n Andrew Braun\n <\/div>\n <div class=\"widget__author_descriptionText\">\n Digital nomad in Georgia\n <\/div>\n <\/cite>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5328232\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//travel//2021//01//29//europe-s-first-digital-nomad-village-is-opening-on-a-tiny-volcanic-island/">Europe's first digital nomad village is opening on a tiny volcanic island<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Burgeoning tourism sector hit by COVID-19<\/h2><p>Georgia has already emerged as a tourist destination with the launch in 2004 of major infrastructure projects and the renovation of several city centres, such as the coastal city of Batumi and Mestia, at the foot of the mountains.<\/p>\n<p>In 2019, around nine million tourists visited the country, more than twice the size of the Georgian population.<\/p>\n<p>However, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a major blow to this sector, which accounted for 5 per cent of Georgia&#039;s GDP. In 2020, the economy contracted by 6 per cent and lost over 100,000 jobs, according to official figures.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5367504\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//travel//2021//08//25//the-best-destinations-in-india-for-digital-nomads/">6 of the best places in India for digital nomads<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>In the hope of compensating for these losses, the Georgian government launched a programme last summer to attract wealthy remote workers with the promise of travel despite anti-COVID-19 restrictions.<\/p>\n<p>\"This programme aims to attract visitors with high incomes in a situation where a massive influx of tourists is impossible,\" Tea Tchantchibadze, spokesperson for the National Tourism Administration, told AFP.<\/p>\n<h2>Live and work in Georgia for a year<\/h2><p>The scheme allows nationals from 95 countries who can prove a monthly income of more than $2,000 (\u20ac1,670) to come and live and work in Georgia for a year. They must also have tested negative for coronavirus or been vaccinated against the disease.<\/p>\n<p>About 2,300 people have applied for the programme, and more than 800 have already arrived in the country, says Tchantchibadze.<\/p>\n<p>Georgia had the epidemic under control until late summer 2020, but the situation has worsened since September. By the end of February, the country had recorded nearly 270,000 infections, resulting in about 2,500 deaths.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-image widget--size-fullwidth widget--animation-fade-in widget--align-center\" data-ratio=\"0.593125\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <img class=\"widgetImage__image lazyload\" loading=\"lazy\" data-src=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/808x478_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/202x120_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg 202w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/266x157_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg 266w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/404x239_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg 404w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/534x316_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg 534w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/606x359_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg 606w, https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/808x478_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg 808w\" alt=\"Vano Shlamov&#47;AFP\" \/>\n <figcaption class=\"widget__caption\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionWrap\">\n <span class=\"widget__captionText\">Digital nomad Andrew Braun, a 28-year-old web developer working in Tbilisi on February 16, 2021.<\/span>\n <span class=\"widget__captionCredit\">Vano Shlamov&#47;AFP<\/span>\n <\/span>\n <\/figcaption>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Andrew Braun, a 28-year-old computer developer from New Jersey, US, says Georgia is \"a great place to explore even in the time of Covid\".<\/p>\n<p>\"What I like most is the friendliness and openness of the culture. I&#039;m an outsider but I never feel too out of place here,\" he says, noting the increasing arrival of other \"digital nomads\".<\/p>\n<p>According to him, they have diverse profiles but are attracted by a common curiosity and a \"desire to explore\".<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5189090\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//travel//2021//07//15//get-into-beach-based-working-with-these-7-digital-nomad-destinations/">Get into beach-based working with these 7 digital nomad destinations<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<h2>Lifestyle drawbacks<\/h2><p>Compared to ordinary tourists, he believes that these 21st century nomads \"can immerse themselves a bit more in the countries and cultures\" where they work.<\/p>\n<p>However, this lifestyle also has its drawbacks and constraints.<\/p>\n<p>According to a study by Britain&#039;s Cranfield University, companies tend to \"reinforce\" the workload of their remote employees \"with demands that cannot be met within a certain time frame\".<\/p>\n<p>Overtime, round-the-clock e-mail, lack of holiday time or sleep: all of these practices are encouraged by remote working and can have a negative impact on health. Even in Georgia.<\/p>\n<p>Not to mention the loneliness of travellers far from their families.<\/p>\n<p>Braun admits that sometimes life is \"better\" when you work abroad. But sometimes, \"you take all your problems with you, too\".<\/p>\n<p><strong>Every weekday at 21.00 CET, Euronews Travel brings you a story from somewhere different around the world. Download the Euronews app to get an alert for this and other breaking news. It&#039;s available on <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////apps.apple.com//app//apple-store//id555667472?mt=8\%22>Apple<\/a> and <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////play.google.com//store//apps//details?id=com.euronews.express\%22>Android<\/a> devices.<\/strong><\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1615825183,"publishedAt":1615838225,"updatedAt":1615893608,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/travel\/2021\/03\/15\/cheap-living-great-wifi-and-safe-surroundings-why-digital-nomads-are-flocking-to-georgia","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_b8b33a18-7cde-51bf-b39e-0fb9d87ff2a6-5453922.jpg","altText":"4th century Gergeti church in the village of Stepantsminda (former Kazbegi) close to Russian-Georgian border, some 160 km north of the capital Tbilisi.","caption":"4th century Gergeti church in the village of Stepantsminda (former Kazbegi) close to Russian-Georgian border, some 160 km north of the capital Tbilisi.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Kirill Kudryavtsev\/AFP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1600","height":"917"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/45\/39\/22\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_794758a9-9513-5552-a796-01e9ace91596-5453922.jpg","altText":"Digital nomad Andrew Braun, a 28-year-old web developer working in Tbilisi on February 16, 2021.","caption":"Digital nomad Andrew Braun, a 28-year-old web developer working in Tbilisi on February 16, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Vano Shlamov\/AFP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1600","height":"949"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"12639","slug":"travel","urlSafeValue":"travel","title":"Travel","titleRaw":"Travel"},{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"24502","slug":"digital-nomad","urlSafeValue":"digital-nomad","title":"digital nomad","titleRaw":"digital nomad"},{"id":"16116","slug":"nomad","urlSafeValue":"nomad","title":"nomad","titleRaw":"nomad"},{"id":"24500","slug":"co-working","urlSafeValue":"co-working","title":"co-working","titleRaw":"co-working"},{"id":"15740","slug":"holiday","urlSafeValue":"holiday","title":"holiday","titleRaw":"holiday"}],"related":[{"id":"1505634"},{"id":"1515494"},{"id":"1313986"}],"technicalTags":[{"path":"travel.top-3"},{"path":"travel"}],"widgets":[{"slug":"image","count":"1"},{"slug":"quotation","count":"1"},{"slug":"related","count":"3"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":0,"videos":[],"externalPartners":[],"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews and AFP","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"destinations","urlSafeValue":"destinations","title":"Destinations","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/travel\/destinations\/destinations"},"vertical":"travel","verticals":[{"id":"7","slug":"travel","urlSafeValue":"travel","title":"Travel"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"7","slug":"travel","urlSafeValue":"travel","title":"Travel"},"themes":[{"id":"destinations","urlSafeValue":"destinations","title":"Destinations","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/travel\/destinations"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"28","urlSafeValue":"destinations","title":"Destinations"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/travel\/2021\/03\/15\/cheap-living-great-wifi-and-safe-surroundings-why-digital-nomads-are-flocking-to-georgia","lastModified":1615893608},{"id":"1401830","cid":"5413470","versionId":"2","archive":0,"housenumber":"210226_WBSU_15069992","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Protesters gather in Georgia over opposition leader's arrest","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Protesters gather in Georgia over opposition leader's arrest","titleListing2":"Protesters gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia over the arrest earlier in the week of opposition leader Nika Melia.","leadin":"Protesters gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia over the arrest earlier in the week of opposition leader Nika Melia.","summary":"Protesters gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia over the arrest earlier in the week of opposition leader Nika Melia.","keySentence":null,"url":"protesters-gather-in-georgia-over-opposition-leader-s-arrest","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Anti-government protesters marched in Georgia's capital Tbilisi on Friday after the main opposition party leader was arrested earlier in the week. \n\nNika Melia, leader of the United National Movement, was arrested with the party headquarters stormed by police. Melia faces charges of inciting violence during protests in 2019. \n\nPrime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned over the order for Melia's arrest, stating that it would lead to political escalation. \n\nThere has been a tense political situation in the country amid allegations of voter fraud in the fall parliamentary election. The opposition has demanded a rerun of the vote. They are\u00a0also now demanding Melia's release. \n\nTurmoil in the South Caucasus \n\nThe political turmoil in the South Caucasus is being watched closely by regional powers, particularly Russia, which continues to have very strong diplomatic and military ties in the region. \n\n\"We have to remember here that Russia sees the post-Soviet space as its sphere of exclusive influence, and it wants to try and counter-balance the growing influence of the West,\" says Tracey German, a reader in conflict and security at King's College London. \n\n\"It wants to ensure that Russia is recognised as the dominant power across this wide region. And it looks for states that are loyal to Moscow. I think that is potentially what will be concerning for the European Union,\" she told Euronews. \n\n\"It retains very considerable leverage, both in the diplomatic arena, but also economically and militarily. And I think it's in those areas, particularly diplomatically, that we'll be seeing increasing pressure on these states.\" \n\nYerevan also in focus \n\nIn neighbouring Armenia, anti-government protesters also took to the streets again on Friday in the capital Yerevan, calling on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down. \n\nAnger has been simmering ever since Armenia's conflict with Azerbaijan in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh last November. The opposition movement gained momentum this week, when top military commanders also urged Pashinyan to resign. \n\nPashinyan accused the armed forces of plotting a coup, and he called a rally of 20,000 of his own supporters in the capital on Thursday. Pashinyan said he was ready to talk with the opposition, but he also threatened to arrest any opponents who \"go beyond political statements.\"","htmlText":"<p>Anti-government protesters marched in Georgia&#039;s capital Tbilisi on Friday after the main opposition party leader was arrested earlier in the week.<\/p>\n<p>Nika Melia, leader of the United National Movement, was arrested with the party headquarters stormed by police. Melia faces charges of inciting violence during protests in 2019.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5398592\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//23//georgian-police-arrest-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-storming-hq/">Georgian police arrest opposition leader Nika Melia after storming HQ<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned over the order for Melia&#039;s arrest, stating that it would lead to political escalation.<\/p>\n<p>There has been a tense political situation in the country amid allegations of voter fraud in the fall parliamentary election. The opposition has demanded a rerun of the vote. They are also now demanding Melia&#039;s release.<\/p>\n<h2><strong>Turmoil in the South Caucasus<\/strong><\/h2><p>The political turmoil in the South Caucasus is being watched closely by regional powers, particularly Russia, which continues to have very strong diplomatic and military ties in the region.<\/p>\n<p>\"We have to remember here that Russia sees the post-Soviet space as its sphere of exclusive influence, and it wants to try and counter-balance the growing influence of the West,\" says Tracey German, a reader in conflict and security at King&#039;s College London.<\/p>\n<p>\"It wants to ensure that Russia is recognised as the dominant power across this wide region. And it looks for states that are loyal to Moscow. I think that is potentially what will be concerning for the European Union,\" she told Euronews.<\/p>\n<p>\"It retains very considerable leverage, both in the diplomatic arena, but also economically and militarily. And I think it&#039;s in those areas, particularly diplomatically, that we&#039;ll be seeing increasing pressure on these states.\"<\/p>\n<h2>Yerevan also in focus<\/h2><p>In neighbouring Armenia, anti-government protesters also took to the streets again on Friday in the capital Yerevan, calling on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to step down.<\/p>\n<p>Anger has been simmering ever since Armenia&#039;s conflict with Azerbaijan in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh last November. The opposition movement gained momentum this week, when top military commanders also urged Pashinyan to resign.<\/p>\n<p>Pashinyan accused the armed forces of plotting a coup, and he called a rally of 20,000 of his own supporters in the capital on Thursday. Pashinyan said he was ready to talk with the opposition, but he also threatened to arrest any opponents who \"go beyond political statements.\"<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1614336126,"publishedAt":1614339574,"updatedAt":1614343492,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/02\/26\/protesters-gather-in-georgia-over-opposition-leader-s-arrest","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/41\/34\/70\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_469e7b8e-3a78-56bc-9e72-7a94d04646e4-5413470.jpg","altText":"Protesters attend a rally following the detention of the United National Movement party leader Nika Melia, Tbilisi, Georgia, February 26, 2021.","caption":"Protesters attend a rally following the detention of the United National Movement party leader Nika Melia, Tbilisi, Georgia, February 26, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/41\/34\/70\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_ac574e55-b904-5283-b542-f7391063ca64-5413470.jpg","altText":"Georgian opposition supporters attend a rally following the detention of the United National Movement party leader Nika Melia, Tbilisi, Georgia, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.","caption":"Georgian opposition supporters attend a rally following the detention of the United National Movement party leader Nika Melia, Tbilisi, Georgia, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo\/Shakh Aivazov","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"4896","height":"3264"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia 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affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/02\/26\/protesters-gather-in-georgia-over-opposition-leader-s-arrest","lastModified":1614343492},{"id":"1396836","cid":"5398592","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210223_NCSU_15026136","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"10"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgian police arrest opposition leader Nika Melia after storming HQ","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":null,"titleListing2":"Georgian police arrest opposition leader Nika Melia after storming HQ","leadin":"Shortly afterward, they sprayed tear gas and forced their way into a room that had been barricaded by Melia and his supporters.","summary":"Shortly afterward, they sprayed tear gas and forced their way into a room that had been barricaded by Melia and his supporters.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgian-police-arrest-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-storming-hq","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Georgian police stormed the headquarters of the main opposition party in the early hours of Tuesday to arrest its chairman, Nika Melia. \n\nFootage showed officers scaling a ladder to enter the United National Movement (UNM) headquarters from the roof. \n\nShortly afterward, they sprayed tear gas and forced their way into a room that had been barricaded by Melia and his supporters. \n\nAs officers led Melia away, he appealed for calm among his supporters. \n\nA Tbilisi court last week ruled placing Melia, who is accused of organizing \"mass violence\" during anti-government protests in 2019, in pre-trial detention.","htmlText":"<p>Georgian police stormed the headquarters of the main opposition party in the early hours of Tuesday to arrest its chairman, Nika Melia.<\/p>\n<p>Footage showed officers scaling a ladder to enter the United National Movement (UNM) headquarters from the roof.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5398114,5386692\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//23//georgian-police-raid-opposition-hq-arrest-leader/">Georgian police storm opposition HQ to arrest leader Nika Melia<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//18//georgia-s-prime-minister-giorgi-gakharia-resigns-over-detention-of-opposition-leader/">Georgia's ruling party appoints new PM amid opposition calls for fresh elections<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Shortly afterward, they sprayed tear gas and forced their way into a room that had been barricaded by Melia and his supporters.<\/p>\n<p>As officers led Melia away, he appealed for calm among his supporters.<\/p>\n<p>A Tbilisi court last week ruled placing Melia, who is accused of organizing \"mass violence\" during anti-government protests in 2019, in pre-trial detention.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1614069579,"publishedAt":1614083085,"updatedAt":1614083105,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/02\/23\/georgian-police-arrest-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-storming-hq","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/39\/85\/94\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_66bb128b-3507-5cfe-9a5c-2612a16efb6d-5398594.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP Photo","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia 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Comment","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/nocomment"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"6","urlSafeValue":"nocomment","title":"Nocomment"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/02\/23\/georgian-police-arrest-opposition-leader-nika-melia-after-storming-hq","lastModified":1614083105},{"id":"1396430","cid":"5398114","versionId":"8","archive":0,"housenumber":"210223_WBSU_15023818","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgian police storm opposition HQ to arrest leader Nika Melia","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgian police storm opposition HQ to arrest leader Nika Melia","titleListing2":"Georgian police storm opposition HQ to arrest leader Nika Melia","leadin":"Melia, chairman of the United National Movement, is accused of organising \u201cmass violence\u201d during anti-government protests in 2019.","summary":"Melia, chairman of the United National Movement, is accused of organising \u201cmass violence\u201d during anti-government protests in 2019.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgian-police-raid-opposition-hq-arrest-leader","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Demonstrators set up tents outside Georgia's parliament building and blocked the capital\u2019s main avenue Tuesday to protest the arrest of the leader of the country's main opposition party. \n\n\nGeorgian police stormed the party's headquarters in the early hours\u00a0 to arrest its chairman Nika Melia. \n\nA Tbilisi court last week ruled to place Melia, who is accused of organizing \u201cmass violence\u201d during anti-government protests in 2019, in pre-trial detention. \n\nThe political situation in Georgia has been tense amid allegations of voter fraud in the country's fall parliamentary election. The opposition is demanding a rerun of the vote. \n\n\nFormer Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, who resigned last week over the court ruling to arrest Melia , said arresting the opposition leader could lead to further escalation of political crisis and threaten the well-being of the country\u2019s citizens. \n\nSupporters of the opposition parties spent the night at the United National Movement headquarters in a bid to prevent Melia's detention. \n\nPolice used tear gas as Melia's supporters attempted to barricade the door of the room where the opposition figure was sheltering. Dozens of opposition supporters were also arrested. \n\nBefore the police raid, parliament members named a new prime minister,\u00a0Irakli Garibashvili, to replace the one who opposed arresting Melia because of concern it would escalate the country\u2019s political crisis. \n\n\nEuronews Georgia correspondent Davit Kekenadze, reporting from the capital, Tbilisi, said the new PM had warned that \u201cjustice will be served and Melia won\u2019t be able to hide.\" \n\nGaribashvili addressed the nation on Tuesday to make plea for unity, saying it was time for \"dialogue, not confrontation.\" \n\n\nWatch Euronews's full report in the player above.","htmlText":"<p>Demonstrators set up tents outside Georgia&#039;s parliament building and blocked the capital\u2019s main avenue Tuesday to protest the arrest of the leader of the country&#039;s main opposition party. <\/p>\n<p>Georgian police stormed the party&#039;s headquarters in the early hours to arrest its chairman Nika Melia.<\/p>\n<p>A Tbilisi court last week ruled to place Melia, who is accused of organizing \u201cmass violence\u201d during anti-government protests in 2019, in pre-trial detention.<\/p>\n<p>The political situation in Georgia has been tense amid allegations of voter fraud in the country&#039;s fall parliamentary election. The opposition is demanding a rerun of the vote. <\/p>\n<p>Former Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2021//02//19//irakli-gharibashvili-set-to-return-as-georgia-s-prime-minister/">who resigned last week over the court ruling to arrest Melia<\/strong><\/a>, said arresting the opposition leader could lead to further escalation of political crisis and threaten the well-being of the country\u2019s citizens.<\/p>\n<p>Supporters of the opposition parties spent the night at the United National Movement headquarters in a bid to prevent Melia&#039;s detention.<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-euronews\nwidget--size-fullwidth\nwidget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"auto widget__ratio widget__ratio--16x9\">\n <iframe class=\"lazyload\" type=\"text\/html\" data-src=\"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/embed\/1392740\" width=\"100%\" loading=\"lazy\" frameborder=\"0\" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen seamless>\n <\/iframe>\n <\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Police used tear gas as Melia&#039;s supporters attempted to barricade the door of the room where the opposition figure was sheltering. Dozens of opposition supporters were also arrested.<\/p>\n<p>Before the police raid, parliament members named a new prime minister, Irakli Garibashvili, to replace the one who opposed arresting Melia because of concern it would escalate the country\u2019s political crisis. <\/p>\n<p>Euronews Georgia correspondent Davit Kekenadze, reporting from the capital, Tbilisi, said the new PM had warned that \u201cjustice will be served and Melia won\u2019t be able to hide.\"<\/p>\n<p>Garibashvili addressed the nation on Tuesday to make plea for unity, saying it was time for \"dialogue, not confrontation.\" <\/p>\n<p><em>Watch Euronews&#039;s full report in the player above.<\/em><\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1614060034,"publishedAt":1614060308,"updatedAt":1614117570,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/02\/23\/georgian-police-raid-opposition-hq-arrest-leader","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/39\/81\/14\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_c190674c-d0a6-55e8-8832-55dff2760eb4-5398114.jpg","altText":"Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement opposition party speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, in October, 2020.","caption":"Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement opposition party speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, in October, 2020.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"VANO SHLAMOV\/AFP or licensors","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1024","height":"683"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/38\/65\/96\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_ea14e930-fdf1-5683-83ab-b1f89205407a-5386596.jpg","altText":"Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement opposition party speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, in October, 2020.","caption":"Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement opposition party speaks during a news conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, in October, 2020.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"AP\/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"2969","height":"1928"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"239","slug":"russia","urlSafeValue":"russia","title":"Russia","titleRaw":"Russia"}],"related":[],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"euronews","count":"1"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/WB\/SU\/21\/02\/23\/en\/210223_WBSU_15023818_15023821_114960_095513_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"114960","filesizeBytes":"11721801","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/WB\/SU\/21\/02\/23\/en\/210223_WBSU_15023818_15023821_114960_095513_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"114960","filesizeBytes":"19073825","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x7zhhk9","youtubeId":"bRMW1kM_aMk"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":"AP","additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/02\/23\/georgian-police-raid-opposition-hq-arrest-leader","lastModified":1614117570},{"id":"1392740","cid":"5388750","versionId":"1","archive":0,"housenumber":"210219_GMWB_14986257","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Irakli Gharibashvili set to return as Georgia's prime minister","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Irakli Gharibashvili set to return as Georgia's prime minister","titleListing2":"Irakli Gharibashvili set to return as Georgia's prime minister","leadin":" It comes after the surprise resignation of Giorgi Gakharia this week.","summary":"It comes after the surprise resignation of Giorgi Gakharia this week.","keySentence":null,"url":"irakli-gharibashvili-set-to-return-as-georgia-s-prime-minister","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Former Georgia PM Irakli Garibashvili has been nominated to return to the role after the surprise resignation of\u00a0Giorgi Gakharia. \n\nGakharia had only been in office a matter of months following an election last autumn that the opposition,\u00a0United National Movement (UNM), refused to accept. It claimed there was vote-rigging and demanded a re-run.\u00a0 \n\nThe resignation came after a court ordered the arrest of UNM leader\u00a0Nika Melia.\u00a0 \n\nGakharia, arguing the detention would intensify the country's political crisis, had disagreed with members of his own team, prompting him to quit.\u00a0 \n\nOn Thursday, the ruling\u00a0Georgian Dream party nominated\u00a0Garibashvili to return as prime minister. He served in the post from 2013 to 2015.\u00a0 \n\n\"He [Garibashvili] resigned [in 2015] because of his policy failures but also due to widespread allegations of corruption,\" Shota Utiashvili, a senior fellow at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, told Euronews. \"Nobody expected him to come back to power.\" \n\nListen to the full interview with\u00a0Utiashvili\u00a0in the video player, above.\u00a0","htmlText":"<p>Former Georgia PM Irakli Garibashvili has been nominated to return to the role after the surprise resignation of Giorgi Gakharia.<\/p>\n<p>Gakharia had only been in office a matter of months following an election last autumn that the opposition, United National Movement (UNM), refused to accept. It claimed there was vote-rigging and demanded a re-run. <\/p>\n<p>The resignation came after a court ordered the arrest of UNM leader Nika Melia. <\/p>\n<p>Gakharia, arguing the detention would intensify the country&#039;s political crisis, had disagreed with members of his own team, prompting him to quit. <\/p>\n<p>On Thursday, the ruling Georgian Dream party nominated Garibashvili to return as prime minister. He served in the post from 2013 to 2015. <\/p>\n<p>\"He [Garibashvili] resigned [in 2015] because of his policy failures but also due to widespread allegations of corruption,\" Shota Utiashvili, a senior fellow at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, told Euronews. \"Nobody expected him to come back to power.\"<\/p>\n<p><strong>Listen to the full interview with Utiashvili in the video player, above. <\/strong><\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1613725413,"publishedAt":1613743860,"updatedAt":1613743864,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/02\/19\/irakli-gharibashvili-set-to-return-as-georgia-s-prime-minister","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/38\/87\/50\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_5b98bb02-f1aa-5743-afa2-faa0208c17a6-5388750.jpg","altText":"Dream party nominee for PM's office, defence minister Irakli Garibashvili,","caption":"Dream party nominee for PM's office, defence minister Irakli Garibashvili,","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Euronews","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1920","height":"1080"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"239","slug":"russia","urlSafeValue":"russia","title":"Russia","titleRaw":"Russia"},{"id":"105","slug":"european-union","urlSafeValue":"european-union","title":"European Union","titleRaw":"European Union"}],"related":[{"id":"1391526"},{"id":"1352950"},{"id":"1277348"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/GM\/WB\/21\/02\/19\/en\/210219_GMWB_14986257_14986264_204320_100905_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"204320","filesizeBytes":"20008323","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/GM\/WB\/21\/02\/19\/en\/210219_GMWB_14986257_14986264_204320_100905_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"204320","filesizeBytes":"33505121","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"youtubeId":"IzzFXUBEpbw"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"good-morning-europe","urlSafeValue":"good-morning-europe","title":"Good Morning Europe","online":"1","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/good-morning-europe"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":{"id":"4055","urlSafeValue":"tbilisi","title":"Tbilisi"},"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/02\/19\/irakli-gharibashvili-set-to-return-as-georgia-s-prime-minister","lastModified":1613743864},{"id":"1391526","cid":"5386692","versionId":"8","archive":0,"housenumber":"210218_WBSU_14971481","owner":"euronews","isMagazine":"0","channels":[{"id":"1"},{"id":"2"},{"id":"4"},{"id":"5"},{"id":"12"},{"id":"14"}],"status":2,"title":"Georgia's ruling party appoints new PM amid opposition calls for fresh elections","titleSeo":null,"titleListing1":"Georgia's ruling party appoints new PM amid calls for fresh elections","titleListing2":"Georgia's prime minister Giorgi Gakharia has resigned in row with the ruling party over detention of opposition leader Nika Melia.","leadin":"The governing Georgian Dream party selected the defence minister to take over as prime minister following the sudden resignation of Giorgi Gakharia over the attempts to detain an opposition leader.","summary":"The governing Georgian Dream party selected the defence minister to take over as prime minister following the sudden resignation of Giorgi Gakharia over the attempts to detain an opposition leader.","keySentence":null,"url":"georgia-s-prime-minister-giorgi-gakharia-resigns-over-detention-of-opposition-leader","masterCms":"v2","plainText":"Georgia's ruling party nominated defence minister Irakli Garibashvili, a longtime associate of billion tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, to take over the reins of government on Thursday, prompting renewed calls from opposition politicians to hold early elections. \n\nIt comes as prime minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation on Thursday, criticising a court decision to order the detention of an opposition leader which he said could lead to a \"political escalation\" in the country. \n\nA court in the capital, Tbilisi, granted a request to place Nika Melia, the chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) party, into pretrial custody over charges of inciting \"mass violence\" at anti-government protests in 2019. \n\nMelia, 41, faces nine years in prison if convicted. \n\nThe opposition says the move is politically-motivated and a witch hunt, something the ruling Georgian Dream party - of which Gakharia is a member - has denied. \n\nGeorgian Dream announced the appointment of Defence Minister and former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, 38, to succeed Gakharia on Thursday. \n\nThe appointment was described as \"comical\" by Nika Melia, who said the decision meant that \"the Georgian Dream is over and early elections are imminent\". \n\n\"Power will change in Georgia peacefully and very soon,\" he said. \n\nThe opposition has been calling for early parliamentary elections since the disputed October elections, narrowly won by the Georgian Dream, a party founded by Ivanishvili, the country's richest man and a former prime minister, who is suspected of controlling power behind the scenes. \n\nSpeaking in a televised government meeting on Wednesday, Gakharia, who was appointed prime minister in September 2019, said he had \"taken the decision to leave office\", adding that he saw the court decision as a \"risk to the health and lives of our citizens and which increases the political polarisation of the country\". \n\nSpeaking to AFP, Melia denounced on Wednesday the prosecution's charges against him as \"judicial nonsense\" and \"unlawful\". \n\nOn Wednesday evening, Georgian television showed images of riot police approaching the premises of the UNM's party headquarters where the leaders of almost all opposition parties met with Melia on Wednesday to show their support. \n\nHis supporters also warned that they would resist any attempt by the police to arrest him. \n\nOfficials at the US embassy in Tbilisi on Wednesday called on \"the authorities and the opposition to exercise maximum restraint in the wake of tonight\u2019s [Wednesday's] ruling\". \n\nIn a post on the embassy's Twitter account, US officials added: \"Violence serves no one except those who want to undermine Georgia\u2019s stability. This must be resolved peacefully\". \n\nGeorgia is in the midst of a political crisis following parliamentary elections in October which saw opposition politicians refusing to take their seats in parliament over alleged electoral irregularities. \n\nThe imprisonment of Melia is likely to worsen the situation in the country. \n\nA new election \u2013 which the opposition has been demanding for months \u2013 could be a way out of the current crisis, says Kornely Kakachia, a professor of political science and director of the Georgian Institute of Politics. \n\nBut it remains to be seen what the ruling party, Georgian Dream, will decide. \n\n\"We don't know what the mood is in the ruling party, and generally in the public,\" Kakachia told Euronews, noting that Gakharia was part of the \"softer camp\" in the party. \n\nAnother unknown is whether Russia or the EU will be tempted to wade into the political crisis. \n\n\"Russia has its own geopolitical interests in all other post-Soviet countries, including Georgia, which it considers like its own backyard,\" Kakachia said. \n\nSpeaking to AFP in Tbilisi, the capital, on Thursday, Georgians showed their weariness with this latest episode in a country accustomed to political turmoil. \n\n\"Gakharia is smart, he found an opportunity to escape this swamp. The rest of the government is a bunch of idiots who only think about money,\" said Tamaz Pitskhelauri, a 65-year-old electrician. \n\n\"Corruption flourishes and we don't know which party or politician we can trust. A lot of young people don't trust anyone in Georgia,\" said Ana Bedia, a 24-year-old librarian.","htmlText":"<p>Georgia&#039;s ruling party nominated defence minister Irakli Garibashvili, a longtime associate of billion tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, to take over the reins of government on Thursday, prompting renewed calls from opposition politicians to hold early elections.<\/p>\n<p>It comes as prime minister Giorgi Gakharia announced his resignation on Thursday, criticising a court decision to order the detention of an opposition leader which he said could lead to a \"political escalation\" in the country.<\/p>\n<p>A court in the capital, Tbilisi, granted a request to place Nika Melia, the chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) party, into pretrial custody over charges of inciting \"mass violence\" at anti-government protests in 2019.<\/p>\n<p>Melia, 41, faces nine years in prison if convicted.<\/p>\n<p>The opposition says the move is politically-motivated and a witch hunt, something the ruling Georgian Dream party - of which Gakharia is a member - has denied.<\/p>\n<div\n data-stories-id=\"5128332,5080252\"\n data-event=\"widget_related\"\n class=\"widget widget--type-related widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio--auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <ul class=\"widget__related_list\"><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2020//10//30//why-georgia-s-elections-could-be-make-or-break-for-its-democracy/">Why Georgia's elections could be make or break for its democracy<\/a><\/li><li class=\"widget__related_listItem\"> <a href=https://www.euronews.com/"https:////www.euronews.com//2020//11//14//thousands-rally-outside-georgia-s-parliament-in-protest-at-election/">Thousands rally outside Georgia's parliament in protest at election<\/a><\/li><\/ul>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Georgian Dream announced the appointment of Defence Minister and former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, 38, to succeed Gakharia on Thursday.<\/p>\n<p>The appointment was described as \"comical\" by Nika Melia, who said the decision meant that \"the Georgian Dream is over and early elections are imminent\".<\/p>\n<p>\"Power will change in Georgia peacefully and very soon,\" he said.<\/p>\n<p>The opposition has been calling for early parliamentary elections since the disputed October elections, narrowly won by the Georgian Dream, a party founded by Ivanishvili, the country&#039;s richest man and a former prime minister, who is suspected of controlling power behind the scenes.<\/p>\n<p>Speaking in a televised government meeting on Wednesday, Gakharia, who was appointed prime minister in September 2019, said he had \"taken the decision to leave office\", adding that he saw the court decision as a \"risk to the health and lives of our citizens and which increases the political polarisation of the country\".<\/p>\n<p>Speaking to AFP, Melia denounced on Wednesday the prosecution&#039;s charges against him as \"judicial nonsense\" and \"unlawful\".<\/p>\n<p>On Wednesday evening, Georgian television showed images of riot police approaching the premises of the UNM&#039;s party headquarters where the leaders of almost all opposition parties met with Melia on Wednesday to show their support.<\/p>\n<p>His supporters also warned that they would resist any attempt by the police to arrest him.<\/p>\n<p>Officials at the US embassy in Tbilisi on Wednesday called on \"the authorities and the opposition to exercise maximum restraint in the wake of tonight\u2019s [Wednesday&#039;s] ruling\".<\/p>\n<p>In a post on the embassy&#039;s Twitter account, US officials added: \"Violence serves no one except those who want to undermine Georgia\u2019s stability. This must be resolved peacefully\".<\/p>\n<div class=\"widget widget--type-tweet widget--size-fullwidth widget--align-center\">\n <div class=\"widget__wrapper\">\n <div class=\"widget__ratio widget__ratio\u2014auto\">\n <div class=\"widget__contents\">\n <figure class=\"widget__figure\">\n <div class=\"widget__tweet\" data-tweet-id=\"1362121688931041288\"><\/div>\n <\/figure>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n <\/div>\n<\/div>\n\n\n<p>Georgia is in the midst of a political crisis following parliamentary elections in October which saw opposition politicians refusing to take their seats in parliament over alleged electoral irregularities.<\/p>\n<p>The imprisonment of Melia is likely to worsen the situation in the country.<\/p>\n<p>A new election \u2013 which the opposition has been demanding for months \u2013 could be a way out of the current crisis, says Kornely Kakachia, a professor of political science and director of the Georgian Institute of Politics.<\/p>\n<p>But it remains to be seen what the ruling party, Georgian Dream, will decide.<\/p>\n<p>\"We don&#039;t know what the mood is in the ruling party, and generally in the public,\" Kakachia told Euronews, noting that Gakharia was part of the \"softer camp\" in the party.<\/p>\n<p>Another unknown is whether Russia or the EU will be tempted to wade into the political crisis.<\/p>\n<p>\"Russia has its own geopolitical interests in all other post-Soviet countries, including Georgia, which it considers like its own backyard,\" Kakachia said.<\/p>\n<p>Speaking to AFP in Tbilisi, the capital, on Thursday, Georgians showed their weariness with this latest episode in a country accustomed to political turmoil.<\/p>\n<p>\"Gakharia is smart, he found an opportunity to escape this swamp. The rest of the government is a bunch of idiots who only think about money,\" said Tamaz Pitskhelauri, a 65-year-old electrician.<\/p>\n<p>\"Corruption flourishes and we don&#039;t know which party or politician we can trust. A lot of young people don&#039;t trust anyone in Georgia,\" said Ana Bedia, a 24-year-old librarian.<\/p>\n","hashtag":null,"createdAt":1613634136,"publishedAt":1613634637,"updatedAt":1613720616,"expiresAt":0,"canonical":"https:\/\/www.euronews.com\/2021\/02\/18\/georgia-s-prime-minister-giorgi-gakharia-resigns-over-detention-of-opposition-leader","images":[{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/05\/38\/66\/92\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_d053b1f6-2b57-5405-8b1c-9e86ecea1e5d-5386692.jpg","altText":"Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia speaks to the media after voting at a polling station during the parliamentary elections in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.","caption":"Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia speaks to the media after voting at a polling station during the parliamentary elections in Tbilisi, Georgia, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.","captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":"Georgia's Prime Minister Press office via AP","sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1600","height":"931"},{"url":"https:\/\/static.euronews.com\/articles\/stories\/04\/63\/01\/94\/{{w}}x{{h}}_cmsv2_c6a92aeb-53b9-5d78-a5d4-933b2961183c-4630194.jpg","altText":null,"caption":null,"captionUrl":null,"captionCredit":null,"sourceUrl":null,"sourceCredit":null,"callToActionUrl":null,"callToActionText":null,"width":"1600","height":"900"}],"authors":{"journalists":[],"producers":[],"videoEditor":[]},"keywords":[{"id":"124","slug":"georgia","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","titleRaw":"Georgia"},{"id":"10597","slug":"georgia-politics","urlSafeValue":"georgia-politics","title":"Georgia politics","titleRaw":"Georgia politics"},{"id":"9417","slug":"political-crisis","urlSafeValue":"political-crisis","title":"Political crisis","titleRaw":"Political crisis"}],"related":[{"id":"1392740"},{"id":"1476968"}],"technicalTags":[],"widgets":[{"slug":"twitter","count":"1"},{"slug":"related","count":"1"}],"allViews":0,"allViewsMeta":{"pointOfView":{"quotation":null,"description":null,"author":null},"survey":[],"tweetId":null,"tweet2NdId":"","contentType":null,"displayOverlay":"0"},"displayType":"default","video":1,"videos":[{"format":"mp4","quality":"md","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/med\/EN\/WB\/SU\/21\/02\/18\/en\/210218_WBSU_14971481_14971484_108200_121953_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"108200","filesizeBytes":"10879847","expiresAt":0},{"format":"mp4","quality":"hd","type":"normal","url":"https:\/\/video.euronews.com\/mp4\/EN\/WB\/SU\/21\/02\/18\/en\/210218_WBSU_14971481_14971484_108200_121953_en.mp4","editor":"","duration":"108200","filesizeBytes":"17901468","expiresAt":0}],"externalPartners":{"dailymotionId":"x7ze1u4","youtubeId":"36YVOBCS6ZE"},"liveStream":[],"isLiveCoverage":"0","sourceId":"1","sources":[],"externalSource":null,"additionalSources":null,"additionalReporting":"Euronews and AFP","freeField1":null,"freeField2":"","type":"","program":{"id":"web-digital-stories","urlSafeValue":"web-digital-stories","title":"World","online":"0","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/programs\/web-digital-stories"},"vertical":"news","verticals":[{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},{"id":"2","slug":"european-affairs","urlSafeValue":"european-affairs","title":"European affairs"}],"primaryVertical":{"id":"1","slug":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"themes":[{"id":"news","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"World","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news\/international"},{"id":"europe","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe","url":"\/\/www.euronews.com\/news"}],"primaryTheme":{"id":"1","urlSafeValue":"news","title":"News"},"advertising":0,"advertisingData":{"startDate":0,"endDate":0,"type":null,"isDfp":null,"slug":null,"title":null,"disclaimerLabelKey":null,"sponsor":null,"sponsorName":null,"sponsorUrl":null,"sponsorLogo":"","sponsorLogoReverse":""},"geoLocation":{"lat":0,"lon":0},"location":1,"continent":{"id":"104","urlSafeValue":"europe","title":"Europe"},"country":{"id":"124","urlSafeValue":"georgia","title":"Georgia","url":"\/news\/europe\/georgia"},"town":[],"versions":[],"fullUrl":"\/2021\/02\/18\/georgia-s-prime-minister-giorgi-gakharia-resigns-over-detention-of-opposition-leader","lastModified":1613720616}]" data-api-url="/api/country/georgia">

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