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The News in Brief

Friday, March 20
President visits Brussels

The Georgian President has participated in the People`s Forum of Europe meeting in Brussels. Mikheil Saakashvili delivered a speech regarding the Georgia-Russia war and the situation in the country after the Russian intervention.

Today, Mikheil Saakashvili will hold meetings with American Congressional representatives. On March 21, the President will attend an international conference in Brussels dedicated to the discussion of Georgia’s postwar problems. State Security Secretary Eka Tkeshelashvili, State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili and Georgia`s First Lady are accompanying the President. (Rustavi 2)

Aleksandre Khetaguri – year of change in energy sector

Minister of Energy of Georgia Aleksandre Khetaguri has stated that the current year will be the year of change in the energy sector. Khetaguri said this at the commencement of the construction of a 500 kilowatt electricity line.

“This new 500 kilowatt electricity transmission line is one of our priority projects. We must develop our infrastructure to interest investors more. Georgia will be not only an exporter of energy but a transmitting country with this new line,” Khetaguri stated.

”Turkey will join the European energy network in the nearest future. We’ll therefore sell electricity produced in Georgia to European countries,” the Minister of Energy stated.

The new 500 kilowatt electricity transmission line between Georgia and Turkey will begin operating in September. Its construction will be completed by 2012. The budget of the project is 220 million. (Interpressnews)

Four parties create Alliance for Freedom

Four political parties have united to form the Alliance for Freedom. These are the Freedom Party, Union of Georgian Traditionalists, Party of the Future and Women’s Party.

Gia Maisashvili, leader of the Party of the Future, says that the country faces economic meltdown and the existing political system will not be able to lead the country out of deadlock.

He maintains that politics has become a business in Georgia and Saakashvili’s regime has no interest in constructing a healthy state. Konstantine Gamsakhurdia of the Freedom Party states that the founders of the Alliance for Freedom have a common political past, in particular as members of the [1990s] national movement.

The Alliance leaders state that it is ready to cooperate with all opposition parties and will join the protest action to be held on April 9. They say the main target of the Alliance is a systematic change of the existing political structure and the establishment of a Parliamentary Republic. (Interpressnews)

Increased prices and low quality characterize medicines in Georgia

The Experts Club for Health Care has discussed problems in the pharmaceutical market in Georgia. The experts examined the medicines on sale in Georgia for two months and assert that artificially increased prices and a low quality of medicine have been discovered.

Representatives of the organization have called upon the Government to act and say that similar examinations will be continually conducted. (Rustavi 2)

Conservatives disapprove of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters

The Conservative Party disapproves of the Code of Conduct for Broadcasters, which has been drafted by the National Communications Regulatory Commission, and calls the document a means of censorship.

Lasha Chkhartishvili voiced the opinion of the Conservatives at a briefing yesterday. He said the document had been deliberately drafted prior to the opposition demonstration scheduled for April 9 on the orders of the Government. He said it includes several clauses which breach the rights of the independent media.

The Conservative Party urges international organizations to look into this problem. (Rustavi 2)

Two women die in Gldani after gas leak

Two young women have died in Gldani after a gas leak. According to information, one of them was pregnant.

A relative who came to visit them yesterday morning tried to enter the apartment for several hours, but in vain. Eventually they got into the apartment through the balcony and found the women dead.

According to preliminary information, a wrongly installed heater caused the gas poisoning. (Interpressnews)