The second half of 1998 brought more severe economic hardship to Georgia. The events in Gali resulted in 50,000 internally displaced citizens and put a serious burden on the budget. The assassination attempts against President Eduard Shevardnadze and persistent activity against the state by both internal and external forces continue to slow progress. These difficulties, coupled with the Russian financial crisis, have significantly disrupted economic activity in Georgia. In a recent Georgia working group meeting, David Onoprishvili, Georgia's minister of finance, reviewed the recent economic and political developments in Georgia.