The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, February 21
“Irakli Batiashvili: the opposition’s huger strike will have an international resonance!”

Long-time opposition activist Irakli Batiashvili is certain the opposition hunger strike scheduled to start tomorrow will make international wave, Akhali Taoba writes.

Hunger strikes always grab the attention of the international community, he told the newspaper, though acknowledged the scale of the protest is also a factor.

The opposition’s actions are necessary and responsible, he said, accusing the government of being deaf to the people’s demand of fair and democratic elections.

“When the authorities refuse to fulfill three main demands of the opposition, this means they are not going to hold fair and democratic elections in the spring,” Batiashvili said.

“Members of a criminal gang arrested”

Rezonansi reports that Interior Ministry officers arrested five men in Kutaisi on charges of kidnapping and extortion.

Police say they kidnapped a 22-year-old man in the town of Tskaltubo, demanding a USD 100 000 ransom from his family.

“Kakheti residents accuse Saakashvili of not fulfilling campaign promises”

Residents of eastern Kakheti province are accusing President Mikheil Saakashvili of not following through on promises made while campaigning for reelection, according to Akhali Taoba.

The NGO Human Rights Center claims Saakashvili promised to write off old electricity bills for Kakheti residents.

“During the campaign period Saakashvili promised Kakheti residents they would not have to pay electricity debt that they amassed up until June 1 of last year, but he deceived them again,” a spokesperson for the Kakheti branch of the Human Rights Center said.

“Money being taken from the students”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that oppositional Kartuli Dasi party representative Edisher Karchava filed a complaint with the Prosecutor General’s Office against the education minister and Gigi Tevzadze, rector of Ilia Chavchavadze Tbilisi State University, over student fees.

Karchava claims the university rector introduced a policy fining students GEL 100 for being late in paying their university fees.

Students informed Kartuli Dasi, Karchava said, and now the party is taking up their cause.

“Tevzadze’s order is a total violation of the Educational Law. This is an attempt to deliberately take money from students. This needs an investigation, and we are waiting for an answer from the Prosecutor General’s Office,” Karchava said.

“Health minister met with directors of medical institutions”

Rezonansi reports that Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs Sandro Kvitashvili met with directors of local hospitals and clinics on February 19.

The minister said they met to discuss changes in the medical sector, including improving infrastructure, upgrading equipment and building new hospitals.

“The emphasis was on financing state programs and employing doctors. We also talked about privatizing medical institutions,” Kvitashvili reported.

The health minister pledged to hold the meetings regularly.