by Suren Deheryan and Lusine Khachatryan Nick Gvishiani, an independent budget and finance analyst, considers that the anti-corruption struggle of the new Georgian authorities will allow the government to meet its budget obligations in 2004 for the first time in a dozen years. "From the former government down, robbery was everywhere and tax-payers were concealing their incomes with impunity. Today, a sense of fear is developing among tax-payers—they're paying 100 percent taxes."
by Aghavni Harutyunyan The Rose Revolution that swept through Georgia last November has transformed that country's international image and prospects. The ripple effects are being felt throughout the Caucasus as international organizations and domestic audiences compare other regional governments with the young Western-educated democrats now in power in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
by Diana Petriashvili Like other former Soviet republics, including Armenia, Georgia faced severe economic crises after the collapse of the Soviet Union. By 1992, total economic output went down by 70 percent. In the past decade marginal improvements have been seen but, still, production is only 40 percent of the index of 1989.
by Julia Hakobyan The King of Khinkali If you ask Georgians where you can have the best khinkali in Tbilisi many will advise you to visit Jilik’s restaurant. Though khinkali is a traditional Georgian meal (minced meat boiled in small portions wrapped in dough) it is an Armenian, Martin Manasian, who is well known in the capital as a khinkali expert. Jilik is a nickname, inherited by Martin from his father along with the restaurant. The father got the nickname (which means streak) for his ability to run a restaurant business successfully.
by Vahan Ishkhanyan Today, 100,000 Armenians live in about 100 settlements in Javakhk, Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda, an area of 2,600 square kilometers about 50 kilometers north of Armenia and 30 kilometers east of Turkey. In terms of its relative homogeneity, Javakhk—95 percent Armenian—is regarded as the world's "third" Armenian land after Karabakh and Armenia. To reach Javakhk, you cross the northern border at Ashotsk, Armenia's "Siberia" and enter the regions of Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki, the Georgian "Siberia"
by Irina Suleymanyan It costs five lari (about $2.50) for an Armenian to become a "Georgian". For that amount a Vardanian, for example, can become "Vardanishvili". It is not an unusual practice, since many Armenians find it easier to get along in Georgian society with a Georgian name. In fact, many say it is a practical necessity if an Armenian wants to obtain a position or a job of significance. Throughout the Republic of Georgia can be found "five-lari Armenians".
by Vahan Ishkhanyan The seaside café is one of the favorite gathering places for residents of Batumi. The sea washes pleasantly against the walls of the café as they sip coffee and allow the panoramic view across the port to ease away any concerns. First and foremost, however, the café is famous because the coffee, prepared by Haykanush Okhikian, is considered the best in the city. "Even when I make bad coffee, they will still say it's good. They've gotten used to me," says 70-year-old Haykanush, digging the coffee pot into the sand.
by Vahan Ishkhanyan The Republic of Abkhazia is recognized as Georgia in international diplomacy, but has declared itself to be separate. The Black Sea is to the west, Russia (Krasnodar) is to the north, Georgia to the east and south. But along its seacoast are scattered a number of Armenian settlements and, throughout the region, you are as likely to hear Armenian spoken as Abkhazian or Russian.