Vakhtang Megrelishvili

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Articles

Three Hundred Million Lari Worth of Praise

In a hot politico-economic summer, social topics may seem rather uninteresting at first glance. However, in parallel with today's political turmoil, the Georgian government, international organizations and other interest groups have nonetheless "managed" to also discuss social issues.In early June a conference on Early Child Survival and Development was held in Tbilisi. It was a high-level conference. Everyone knows that people are always interested in the hot news of the past few hours and,...

A Policy of Legal Killing

A promise to revise the policy on the criminal prosecution of drug addicts in the political manifesto of the Georgian Dream coalition raised my hopes when I read it before the October parliamentary elections. Back then, I assumed that the coalition had taken that decision conscientiously after studying the results of surveys. After winning the elections, however, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said, when asked his opinion on this by a journalist, that he had no idea about this issue as he...

Slavery Is Over, Be Afraid of Freedom!

During its spring session, the Georgian parliament will deliberate on proposed amendments to the Labor Code. One of pre-election promises of the new government was “humanizing” labor legislation. Ever since 2006, when Georgia first adopted its own labor law, this has been a subject of public discussion and debate. Many emotional assessments have been made on this issue: politically correct critics have mainly described it as being tailored to employers’ needs alone; the Georgian Trade Unions...

Parasites

Parasitism is a biological phenomenon. One type of organism – a parasite, lives at the expense of another type of organism – a host. An analogous relationship exists between a parasitoid and its host with the only difference being that the parasitoid eventually kills the host. Parasites are capable of changing the behavior of the hosts they infect. For example, toxoplasma-infected rats and mice become less fearful of cats, thus becoming easier prey for them. The role of parasites in nature is...

Matrix Reloaded

About two months ago, there was a system failure in yet another Matrix version. The new version is being reloaded and updated now. Georgians will have to live with the updated version, but it will be interesting to see what updates Matrix software programmers have in store for the health care sector. The word “health” denotes such a state of wellbeing that it tends to alleviate whatever anxiety we may naturally have about the foreseeable future. “Illness” is an opposite condition. My...

Constitutional Court: Right to Aid

Several years ago, a complaint was filed with the Constitutional Court challenging a matter of interest to me. The complaint made me question how many stupid people live in the world. I wondered how the idea of challenging such a matter in court would even cross anyone’s mind. Later, I was even more surprised to learn that the Constitutional Court had actually decided to consider the complaint. Quite some time passed. Convinced that there was no way that the case could possibly be resolved in...

Burning Caretakers

Those who have not been monitoring agricultural developments in Georgia may not be aware that, in spring 2011, the government began supplying domestic farmers with hybrid corn seeds to increase the volume and quality of their corn production. Subsidizing agriculture is not an unusual activity for any government. Diesel fuel and tractors have been purchased for farmers time and again. Everyone wants to capture the hearts of rural voters and, consequently, politicians cannot afford to leave the...

Everlasting Reform

 As you may know, “reform” in Georgian means change. More often than not this word is used in a positive context or is at least associated with good intentions. Changes in the Georgian health care sector have been underway for some time now, and this process of reformation continues even today. Reforms implemented during the past twenty years can be divided into three stages: the first reform stage occurred during the period of 1991 to 1996; the second, from 1997 to 2005, and the third, from...

A Sacred Right To Jog

 In my previous columns I focused on separate topics concerning the relationship between the state and society. A leitmotif of these columns was the state’s practice of making decisions in favor of one social group to the detriment of another. I am not going to change tack this time and speak about, say, civil defense. I will dwell on the common ground of those topics discussed in earlier columns. In the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, society questioned the divine origin of monarchs and...

Freedom For Medical Profession!

The official Website of the European Commission features a “Euromyths” section designed to dispel rumors and half-truths about EU regulations. As one wide-spread rumor has it, the sale of curved cucumbers is banned because cucumbers have to be straight and must not arch more than 10mm. The official explanation: Cucumbers do not have to be straight according to grading rules established by the European Union. When cucumber grading rules established by states are not a joke but a reality, it...

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