March 30, Tbilisi -- Downtown Tblisi was crowded with an estimated 10,000 demonstrators protesting against the policies of President Mikheil Saakashvili. The President was elected in January 2004, swept into power during the so-called "Rose Revolution", which deposed the previous government of President Eduard Shevardnadze.
The opposition claims that the Georgian economy is suffering from Saakashvili's foreign policy, which they contend has raised the prices for energy and other goods by needlessly antagonizing Russia. The Georgian government currently receives subsidies from the U.S. to pay its civil servants.
When President Bush visited Georgia in May 2005, a live grenade was found near the stage where Bush and Saakashvili were scheduled to speak. After an investigation, the Georgian government issued a statement accusing Russia's intelligence services of planting the explosive to kill the American and Georgian Presidents.