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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili and Ernest Petrosyan
Tuesday, January 13
Patriarchate makes statement about “Best Georgians-Big Top Ten” programme

The Georgian Patriarchate has made a statement about the First Channel programme Best Georgians-Big Top Ten, Akhali Taoba reports.

“We don’t approve of the present format of the programme, a competition between and among spiritual and secular public figures (whether this comparison is made by appraiser or advocate),” the Patriarchate’s statement reads. It continues that the Patriarchate doesn’t protest against having a competition between public figures, but for saints this approach is inadmissible. The Church approves of all kinds of educational (not entertainment) TV projects which aim to deepening knowledge of famous people and saints,” the statement explains.

The Patriarchate has started negotiations with the directorate of the First Channel and hopes the results will be acceptable. Georgia’s Big Top Ten is on air every Friday at 22:00, anchored by Dachi Grdzelishvili and Eka Khoperia.

Davit Bakradze to return to work next week

Chairman of Parliament Davit Bakradze will restart work from next week, Akhali Taoba writes. The Press Centre of Parliament explains that Bakradze feels better and has already been discharged from hospital.

Davit Bakradze was sent to the First Clinical Hospital in Tbilisi on January 8 for a kidney operation. Later he was transferred to the Chapidze clinic for further examination of his heart.

Saakashvili leaves Ministers without guards

Kviris Palitra reports that President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will sign a document in January which will remove the right of present and former Government members to use a personal bodyguard.

The list of people affected by this change includes Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, former Prime Ministers Zurab Nogaideli and Lado Gurgenidze and ex Chair of Parliament Nino Burjanadze, who also currently uses a car which went with her previous job. Present and former Ministers and MPs will also have their guards taken away.

The State Chancellery, which announced this change, added that it will optimize the expenses of the State Guard.

Paata Davitaia demands explanation from Energy Minister

Opposition Member of Parliament Paata Davitaia is demanding an explanation of the memorandum agreed by the Georgian Energy Ministry and Russian company RAO EES concerning the Enguri hydropower station, Akhali Taoba reports.

Davitaia has told interpressnews that he will question the Energy Minister at the next session of the Anti-Crisis Council. “Information on Russian sites is frequently inadequate, though at the nearest session I will invite Khetaguri and question him about this,” stated Davitaia.

“The Enguri hydropower station is strategically important and the question of its management should not be decided secretly. This is very important for the country’s security,” said Davitaia

The Ministry of Energy does not deny signing a memorandum of co-operation with RAO EES to exploit the Enguri hydropower station. According to the official website of INTER RAO the document was signed on December 30.

The sides agreed to prepare a programme of measures to fully activate the station. This programme should take not less than ten years.