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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, December 17
Drivers go on strike in Kutaisi

Yesterday a number of drivers went on strike in Kutaisi, Sakartvelos Respublika writes.

The drivers are refusing to pick up passengers in particular districts of the town. They are protesting against a decision made by Kutaisi Municipality to provide additional transport on newly-established routes in those districts.

The drivers say they can hardly earn a living now and will earn even less with new competitors. The Transport Department of Kutaisi Municipality states that the new lines have been added for people’s welfare and comfort.

New-born support programme to be suspended

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the programme of supporting the new-born babies of poor families may be temporary stopped. The information was released by Vice Speaker of Parliament Gigi Tsereteli. He explained that this project was established with support of the business sector in Georgia last year, but due to existing economic difficulties the programme would have to be suspended.

Tsereteli also noted that all the responsibilities the Government has taken on to provide for the Georgian nation will be fulfilled within the framework of the State Budget this year. The programme of supporting the new-born gives poor families GEL 1,000 for each new baby born.

More freezing weather forecast

From December 17 the current freeze is due to get worse throughout Georgia, Sakartvelos Respublika reports. According to the Monitoring and Forecast Center of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia it is currently snowing in Eastern Georgia and raining in Western Georgia. It’s snowing in Gori, the Rikoti Pass and the high mountainous regions of the country, intensively in Tbilisi, Akhaltsikhe, Bakuriani and Akhalkalaki. Meteorologists state that snow and frost will set in from December 17.

Russians will speak about future provocations in Geneva

24 saati writes that Russia will raise the question of safety in South Ossetia and Abkhazia at the next stage of negotiations in Geneva. The webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has confirmed this information.

“An agreement on avoiding provocations from Saakashvili’s side, which are connected with the dangerous activities of Georgia such as its concentration of military and police officers near South Ossetia and Abkhazia, is important to achieve at the Geneva Conference,” states The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The Ministry also hopes to ensure there is an agreement about the safety and status of refugees during the December round of talks.