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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 5

Saakashvili opens oil production plant

President Mikheil Saakashvili opened the first oil production plant in Batumi on February 4.

Around USD 16 million has been invested in the plant with technical equipment coming from Turkey, Sweden and Italy.

It produces refined oil which is sold at Batumi supermarkets for GEL 2.70 per liter.

The plant employs 120 people with an average monthly salary of GEL 500. (Prime News)

Consumer price index down 1.35 percent

In the week of January 24–January 31, the state consumer price index (CPI) dropped to 98.65 percent of the previous week.

The CPI is calculated by the Statistics Department, which monitors the price of 49 basic goods and services.

Food prices decreased by 2.27 percent over the previous week, the Statistics Department said, with service prices unchanged.

The biggest price drop for foods was on carrots (down 6.1 percent); the largest increase was for tomatoes (up 15 percent). Petrol was down slightly, by 0.6 percent. (Prime News)

Salome Zourabichvili on US visit

Salome Zourabichvili, leader of Georgia’s Way and a member of the nine-party opposition coalition, left on a visit to the US yesterday.

She is due to deliver a speech to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe on behalf of her opposition coalition on February 6.

Georgian Ambassador to the US Vasil Sikharulidze and Matthew Bryza, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, will also deliver speeches at the event.

Zourabichvili will stay in the US for a week and is scheduled to meet with diplomats and congressmen. (Prime News)

The people like Koba Subeliani, poll finds

The weekly Kviris Palitra carried out a poll to gauge voters’ attitude toward the newest cabinet of ministers.

State Minister for Refugees and Resettlement Koba Subeliani is the most well-liked minister, according to the newspaper’s survey, followed by newly-confirmed Culture Minister Nika Vacheishvili and Foreign Minister Davit Bakradze.

The survey’s methodology and location was not clear. (Black Sea Press)

Roads reopen to Upper Abkhazia

Regular transport links to Upper Abkhazia are expected to be restored today.

Transportation to Upper Abkhazia, the only Tbilisi-controlled portion of breakaway Abkhazia, was hampered by heavy snows over the last week. (Prime News)

National Library to be rebuilt with corporate sponsorship

Georgia’s National Library will be fundamentally reconstructed in the next four years, Culture Minister Nika Vacheishvili announced yesterday.

According to the library’s director, local business consortium Kartu Group will pay for the library’s reconstruction, though the total cost was not made public. (Black Sea Press)

Gelbakhiani appeals Tbilisi City Court decision

The lawyer representing Valery Gelbakhiani—who formerly headed the election campaign of business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili—has appealed against the decision of Tbilisi City Court sentencing his client to two-month pre-trial detention, in absentia.

Gelbakhiani, who is charged with conspiring to overthrow the government in a plot allegedly organized by Patarkatsishvili, was sentenced on February 2.

He is thought to be out of the country and a prosecutor says that he will declared a fugitive within days. (Prime News)