Thursday, July 29, 2010

Perhaps the Minister was in the mood to discuss asset appreciation...

There's controversy a brewin' in the world of international politics and finance, after a photo described as "racy" has spread across the internet featuring the Finance Minister of Georgia reportedly taking to the stage at a Vancouver strip club.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is under attack for hiring Vera Kobalia or as the Russian media prefer to describe her  appointment as putting "strippers into his cabinet", though it seems that perhaps his opponents may be making a bit of political hay out of the photograph, which the Minister says was taken more than 10 years ago while in Florida.

The photograph was reportedly taken from a Facebook page before gaining wider distribution thanks to Russian media sources a group not particularly fond of the Georgian President and his policies of late.

If nothing else, Ms. Kabalia's troubles are perhaps a cautionary tale for all about photos and Facebook and the potential damage they can wreak in later years.

Ms. Kobalia, who is Georgian but grew up in Canada, attended BCIT and may or may not have worked in the Vancouver media (news departments are hard pressed apparently to find her files) was appointed to her position after meeting with the Georgian President at the Vancouver Olympics.

A move that apparently hasn't been universally hailed by his political and media opponents. The Vancouver Sun features the photograph and the fallout from the world of international intrigue.

And while the photo may be the focus of the conversation in Georgia and beyond at the moment, one news service in Georgia (and we imagine another group not particularly fond of the President) has picked up on the resume gaps and offered up some thoughts on her travels of late.

As always, for real salacious detail of scandal it's always best to head for the British and Australian press, the wolf packs of Fleet street and beyond have closed in and offered up the kind of reporting that makes them famous.

Independent UK online
Sydney Morning Herald

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