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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 10
Levan Gachechiladze meets President Saakashvili

Opposition leader Levan Gachechiladze was summoned to meet President Mikheil Saakashvili late yesterday evening at the Shavnabada Residence. Prior to this meeting Gachechiladze, who was speaking at the human chain and rally outside the Ministry of the Interior Office, stated that he had been contacted during this action and told that Mikheil Saakashvili was ready to meet him face to face.

“I consider this meeting necessary. It’s easy not to go, but it’s necessary to hear what he wants and what he thinks, whether he thinks there is a crisis in the country and our fight is fair. I’m interested in hearing his opinion about what caused this crisis and I will tell him that the cause of the crisis must leave his position. I have already notified my political partners about it and I will inform the protestors about it,” Levan Gachechiladze stated, adding that after this meeting he will go to Gia Gachechiladze’s ‘cell’ in Maestro TV and tell the public what happened.

Levan Gachechiladze thanked everyone for taking part in the human chain. He said that their cause is just. “We are loyal to the cause. There have been many efforts to arrange a meeting between Saakashvili and me, but it hasn’t taken place. I have avoided being drawn into any secret meetings which the public would not know about,” Gachechiladze stated.

Some opposition parties agreed that this meeting should go ahead, some not, but no one made radical statements concerning it. (The Messenger)

Tbilisi’s budget increases by GEL 64 million

The budget of the capital has been increased by GEL 64 million. City mayor Gigi Ugulava presented this proposal to a session of the Municipal Government which was discussing budget amendments yesterday.

Ugulava stated that GEL 14 million would be allotted to the city from the President’s reserve fund, and the other 50 GEL would be transferred from the central budget for infrastructure development. A new Vake-Saburtalo road will be built at a cost of GEL 30.8 million, GEL 4 million would be allotted for the construction of 20 pedestrian bridges and the rehabilitation of Old Tbilisi is also planned, which the Mayor said would aid tourism development and employ 1,200 people.

Ugulava stated that iron pedestrian road bridges would be built which are ten times cheaper than underground passages. (Interpressnews)

Cleaning Service to put Rustaveli Avenue in order if allowed

The City Hall cleaning service is ready to put Rustaveli Avenue in order if security guarantees are provided, Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava has stated in a TV interview.

The area around Parliament and Rustaveli Avenue occupied by cells has not been cleaned for a while. Ugulava stated that if the opposition leaders guarantee the safety of cleaning service staff they are ready to clean the area in the next few days.

“I don’t want any cleaning service staff to be put at risk. I ask my colleagues, who have more responsibility for the ongoing events in the city, to provide them with security guarantees. No matter what political team a person belongs to, the most important thing is to preserve a civilized form of relations,” Ugulava stated. (Interpressnews)

CSD detains gang members

The Constitutional Security Department has detained two members of an organised criminal group, Jemal Gubeladze and Gia Chikviladze, on suspicion of attempting to extort money from businessmen. Soso Topuridze, the Deputy Head of the CSD reported details of this case to the media yesterday. He said the two suspects had promised to help the businessmen regain the six million GEL they had paid to the state budget in tax, but instead demanding two million GEL from them.

An investigation is in progress. The CSD doubts that officers of the Incomes Ministry were assisting the two suspects, as has been suggested. (Rustavi 2)

Confidence Group meets Patriarch

The group of NGOs called the Confidence Group met with the Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II in his Svetitskhoveli Residence yesterday to discuss the current political stalemate. After the meeting, members of the group said they had talked about the political crisis and mechanisms which could be used to improve the situation in the country. They also told the Patriarch the demands they will present to the Georgian Government.

“We have a serious mandate, the confidence of both the non-Parliamentary and Parliamentary opposition and a very large part of Georgian society. Therefore, our responsibility is very serious and the Government acknowledges this very well,” Confidence Group member Mamuka Areshidze said. (Rustavi 2)

17-year-old injured in Tskneti

17-year-old Davit Lezhava was wounded on Rustaveli Street, Tskneti, on Monday, after a fight between a group of friends broke out at about 1 am, when they were returning from the birthday party of Irakli Batiashvili’s daughter Irina.

Irina Batiashvili told Interpressnews that she heard about the fight 15 minutes after it had taken place and Davit Lezhava was already lying injured when she got to the scene. “Some friends came to celebrate my birthday. They left late, I heard about the fight afterwards and that Davit Lezhava was injured,” she stated.

Lezhava was wounded with a knife. He was operated on at the Republic hospital. (Interpressnews)