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The News in Brief

Monday, February 2
New Russian Patriarch enthroned

The Russian Orthodox Church has enthroned its new leader, Patriarch Kyril, at a ceremony held in Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. The ceremony lasted four hours.

During the enthronement ceremony, senior Bishops seated Kyril three times in the Patriarch`s chair in the centre of the altar, chanting “Axios” (the Greek word for “Worthy”) together with the clergy and the flock. Deacons then replaced Kyril’s Archbishop’s vestments with the Patriarchal sakkos (tunic), omophorion (a broad scarf) and mitre.

The enthronement ceremony was attended by the heads and delegations of Orthodox Churches of different countries. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin were also among the congregation of five thousand. A five–person delegation of senior figures represented the Georgian Orthodox Church at the ceremony.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian economists discuss overcoming crisis

After a meeting with the President on Saturday, Georgian economists and financiers working abroad have said there is good investment environment in Georgia. They discussed the influence of the world crisis on Georgia and ways to overcome it.

The economists said that against the background of the world financial crisis, the Georgian Government`s policy is quite acceptable. In the event of complete implementation of its plan, the crisis will have only a slight effect on the country.

“The world’s economic condition is quite difficult. We will have to implement proper everyday management of the Georgian economy, as well as developing the regions`, Nika Gilauri, the newly-appointed prospective PM, said.
(The Messenger)

Eviction of IDPs

The process of evicting IDPs from the former sport academy building has already started. Refugees who have received monetary aid from the Government are now obliged to leave. They intend to go to the homes of their relatives.

About three families are refusing to leave the building as they don’t want the Government will take care of them. ‘We have not received monetary aid and the construction of our houses has not begun. We don’t want them to not evict us from the place they intend to settle us, we don’t want to leave the building at all’, the refugees stated.

There are 12 families living in the former sports academy building. Most of them are from Tamarasheni, Disevi and other villages still occupied.

Georgian delegation returns from Council of Europe

The 2009 Ordinary Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) completely agreed with the Georgian side`s position, and its resolution confirms this, say the members of the Georgian delegation which has returned from Strasbourg. The MPs say that the resolution adopted by PACE is a victory for Georgian diplomacy, because it obliges Russia to fulfil the demands made by the Assembly in its Resolution 1633 of October 2008 on the “Consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia.” The Russian Federation will be deprived of right to vote in the Council of Europe if it does not comply with this resolution.

The MPs also said that the resolution concludes that Georgia has complied with most of the Assembly`s demands, whereas the Russian Federation has actually refused to do so.
(Rustavi 2)

Manana Archvadze Gamsakhurdia is on hunger strike

Manana Archvadze Gamsakhurdia, the widow of the first President of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, is on hunger strike in Tbilisi’s Republic Hospital.

InterpressNews was told by Natela Durglishvili, representative of the press centre of the ‘Round Table,’ that Manana Archvadze is protesting against the TV show ‘Best Georgians‘ on Channel I and is demanding that the names of Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Constantine Gamsakhurdia are taken out of out of the list of people to vote for. Natela Durglishvili stated that the widow of the first President has been on hunger strike since yesterday morning.

Two drunken Russian soldiers die in Gali district

Russian occupiers looting at the boundary between the Dikhazurga and Tchuburkhinji villages in the Gali district have died. The two Russian soldiers, who were drunk, fell into a three-metre trench filled with water, that they themselves had dug. The incident presumably occurred on Friday night, as their bodies were found on Saturday morning.

The local population was robbed all night long on Friday. The Russians took winter supplies, food and cattle from the Tagiloni and Barghebi villages. A Russian armoured personnel carrier turned over in Cheghali village and two occupiers were injured. The personnel carrier also fell into the trench dug by the occupiers.
(Rustavi 2)

Armenian citizens ask for political asylum in Georgia

Two citizens of Armenia have asked for political asylum in Georgia. Husband and wife Diana Eganian and Vladimer Saakian have lived in Georgia since 2003, but headed an international human rights NGO in Armenia before that.

In 2008 Georgian law enforcers, relying on their Armenian colleagues’ information, detained them for a swindle allegedly committed in Armenia. They were released with help of the Human Rights Centre in Georgia. The family has asked for asylum and the extension of the term in which to raise their bail.
(Rustavi 2)