The News in Brief
Tuesday, April 8
Presentation of Kala Capital held in Milan
Georgian footballer Kakha Kaladze’s Kala Capital business group was presented in Milan yesterday.
Former prime minister Zurab Noghaideli, the chairman of Kala Capital’s board of directors, outlined the business group’s future investment plans at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Italian government officials and Adriano Galianno, president of AC Milan as well as footballers belonging to the club were due to attend.
Kaladze, 30, was bought by AC Milan in 2001.
New chairman of composers’ union elected
Kakha Tsabadze has replaced Vazha Azarashvili as chairman of the Union of Composers, following an election at a union meeting.
Tsabadze said a priority for him would be returning the Composers’ House in Borjomi to public control.
The Composers’ House, built in 1982, was privatized by the government last year amid loud protest from the Composers’ Union.
Traffic in South Ossetian conflict zone restored
Traffic in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone, allegedly blocked by the Georgian side for several weeks, has been restored.
Last month de facto authorities claimed that Georgian police had begun a blockade of Ossetian settlements; however, Georgian authorities said they were only carrying out checks on traffic from the de facto separatist capital Tskhinvali.
Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in the conflict zone said traffic flow was restored after they mediated in negotiations between the two sides.
Lawyers to be fined for absence at court hearings
Lawyers who miss court hearings without good reason, will be fined GEL 100–150, representatives of Tbilisi City Court said.
Lawyers began a three-day strike yesterday, demanding independent and fair court proceedings.
The Labor Party expressed support for the protest yesterday, with party representative Kakha Dzagania stating that the peaceful action will bring an end to illegality.
Zaza Khatiashvili, a representative of the protesting lawyers, would not rule out the possibility of erecting tents outside Tbilisi City Court to stage a sit-in protest.
“About 2000 attorneys are participating in the action,” he said, adding lawyers have come from all over Georgia to take part.
The court was due to make an official comment on the strike last night.
People’s Bank hires 300 participants of employment program
People’s Bank has offered permanent employment to 300 participants of the government’s internship program.
Giorgi Goguadze, director general of the bank, said that they took on 5000 people as part of the government’s three-month employment program, with the government paying them GEL 200 per month.
The program was designed to give unemployed Georgians a marketable skill set.
Goguadze is running for parliament from a Tbilisi district.
SOCAR to open Kulevi oil terminal
The new Kulevi oil terminal owned by the state oil company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) will be opened at the end of April or beginning of May, a source close to the project told Azerbaijani news agency Trend.
The terminal will export oil and petroleum products of SOCAR and other companies.
The transportation fee will be similar to the Batumi fee, the source said.
SOCAR built the Kulevi terminal with a USD 301 million loan from a consortium of 15 foreign banks. It must be repaid by 2009.
The terminal’s current capacity is 9 million tons, but there are plans to increase this to 20 million tons.
Kulevi is a port town on Georgia’s western Black Sea coast.
Former president calls on Burjanadze to stay out of parliamentary elections
Former president Eduard Shevardnadze said that if he were Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze he would not run in the forthcoming parliamentary elections, in an interview with the newspaper Mteli Kvira.
“She has been parliamentary speaker for so many years. They [Burjanadze’s family] are well-off, they will never end up starving… They are said to have a nice house in Tskneti and a big apartment, but I myself have never been there. She’s better off going home and taking care of her family or delivering lectures,” Shevardnadze said.
Burjanadze has been parliamentary speaker since 2001, under both Shevardnadze and his successor Mikheil Saakashvili, who was swept to power in the 2003 Rose Revolution.
“She used to be more sensible before,” he said, referring to her tenure under his rule, adding that he “did not know the reason for Burjanadze’s transformation.”
He also denied rumors that he is planning to make a political comeback. “I first heard about that from my masseuse. I am already 80 and that’s no time for politics,” he said.
(Black Sea Press)