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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Monday, November 24
Machavariani threatens MPs

Sakartvelos Respublica reports that the Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Mikheil Machavariani, has threatened to cut MPs wages.

Meetings of Parliament start at 11:00, but recently one was postponed because there wasn’t a quorum of members present, only 62 MPs registering their attendance. Machavariani, in the chair, called a 10-minute break. “Parliament is your job and MPs who absent themselves from it will be punished for indiscipline,” he said during the break.

At the Bureau meeting afterwards Machavariani said that last time some discussion had been postponed because its proposer hadn’t turned up for the meeting. Machavariani said he isn’t going to repeat the same warning and is going to cut MPs wages next time it happens.

Pensions will rise from January 1

Sakartvelos Respublica reports that from January 1 2009 the retirement pension will increase to GEL 75. From November 1 it will be GEL 80. The Deputy Minister of Finance announced this at the meeting where the draft national budget for 2009 was discussed.

According the Deputy Minister the financing of the Health Ministry will increase by GEL 176.6 million. He said that this increase would fund more social programmes. The pension for disabled people will also rise by GEL 5 from January 1 2009.

Ambassador leaves

Akhali Taoba reports Lado Chipashvili, the Ambassador of Georgia to the Czech Republic, has left his position. It was explained by the Foreign Ministry that Chipashvili resigned of his own free will due to his deteriorating health.

According to preliminary information the new Ambassador of Georgia to the Czech Republic will be former MP Nino Nakashidze. The Foreign Ministry however officially denies this.

Pensioners from Chiatura stop hunger strike

Sakartvelos Respublica reports that pensioners in Chiatura have stopped their hunger strike but will continue making permanent protest. This decision was made after the so-called ‘regression pensioners’ of the Chiaturmanganum company met members of the Christian Democratic Party.

The pensioners have been holding protests for more than two weeks. 20 women even went on a hunger strike which lasted 5 days. 900 pensioners of the enterprise are demanding payment arrears for different years.

Vice Speaker of Parliament Mikheil Machavariani has promised the pensioners he will help them, and he too called on them to call off their hunger strike. The pensioners say however that they don’t believe Machavariani and did not stop their hunger strike because of him.