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Compiled by Eter Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, June 18
“There should be a new Antalya in Batumi”

Batumi should become the new Antalya, President Mikheil Saakashvili said while opening a new hotel near the Black Sea resort town, Akhali Taoba reports:

The five-star hotel was built with financial backing from Georgian businessman Temur Chkonia. It has 155 rooms and locals participated in construction work that lasted two years.

The president said Georgians are better at building than foreigners and moreover, they are faster than foreigners. He also said Georgians would be employed in the hotel.

“Marshutkas become expensive”

Akhali Taoba reports that marshrutka ticket prices are set to increase next month:

Marshrutka tickets will increase from July 1 and will cost 70 tetri. The price hike has been expected since last year, when public transport prices doubled to 40 tetri. The price did not change despite popular protest.

Rising fuel prices are forcing drivers to increase ticket fares. There are reports that public transport prices will rise again to 50 tetri, which City Hall denies.

“Zviad Cheishvili left his post”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that a deputy minister has stepped down:

Deputy Economic Development Minister Zviad Cheishvili has left his post. Cheishvili said he left the post on his own initiative.

“I left my post with my initiative because I want to continue my career in private business,” he said.

“Georgian Public Broadcaster building to be sold”

Akhali Taoba reports that the building housing the state-funded Georgian Public Broadcaster is on the selling block:

The head of the supervisory board of the TV station, Levan Gakheladze, confirmed the report for journalists and showed the damaged walls of the building. He said the building is in poor condition, and the station should change location as soon as possible.

“These days the Georgian Public Broadcaster doesn’t have enough money to spend on repairing the building. Our annual budget is GEL 20 million; from this money, it is impossible to repair the building and buy modern equipment. We made a decision to sell this building, and use this money to build a new modern TV and radio center,” Gakheladze said.