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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 8
Two-day Ambassadorial meeting in Courtyard Marriott

The Georgian Foreign Minister opened a two-day Ambassadorial meeting at the Courtyard Marriott hotel yesterday. He told the participants that this was the first meeting of Georgian diplomats since the August war and he was prepared to listen to all problems and most important issues the diplomats would present.

Georgian diplomats say they will focus on Georgian foreign policy and problems in Georgia-Russia relations during the meeting. They will also agree their annual action plan with the Ministry at the end of the Ambassadorial.
(Rustavi 2)

Ministers present Public Report exhibition in Rustavi

The Government’s Public Report exhibition, which took place in Tbilisi last Saturday, was held in the city of Rustavi yesterday. Each Ministry exhibited the results of its work on a separate stand and people learnt what activities they were undertaking within their areas of competence.

The exhibition was held on Zhiuli Shartava Avenue. All members of the Cabinet, including Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, were in Rustavi presenting their work to visitors. The Prime Minister answered questions, as did the Ministers of Healthcare, IDPs, Energy and Reintegration.

The Prime Minister said that the exhibition was very fruitful as they had heard the complaints of the people and understood the impression they had gained regarding the Government’s work in various sectors. He said similar exhibitions would be held in various regions of the country.
(Rustavi 2)

New Rights publish special statement on release of murderers

The New Rights has published a special statement concerning the release of those convicted of Sandro Girgvliani’s murder. It says that Girgvliani’s case has become the symbol of the contradiction between the Government’s violence and civil society and the murderers of the young man were not even detained until a strong protest movement emerged.

“Even then, only a partial list of those involved in this murder was drawn up, to hide the involvement of senior officials. The murderers were sentenced to inadequately brief terms of imprisonment. According to given information, the murderers enjoyed especially good conditions in prison. Their terms were decreased by the Pardon Commission on the order of Mikheil Saakashvili and they were secretly released the day before yesterday,” the statement reads.

The New Rights say that this release took place against the background of a wide-ranging campaign of dialogue with society launched by the Government. “The question is: is this a cynical challenge to society or a reward for the murderers in exchange for concealing information? It must be both. From the beginning there was no possibility that this case would be properly investigated. However the case of the murder of journalist Giorgi Ghonghadze in Ukraine has just been investigated and the senior officials of that time involved have been unmasked,” the announcement reads.

The New Rights states that the killers of Girgvliani will be appropriately punished when the Government changes in Georgia.

Food and alcohol prices fall 6.3% in August

Prices of food and alcohol fell by 6.3 % in August. The Department of Statistics states that prices of these products in August had fallen by 3.6% compared to December 2008 and by 0.4% compared with July 2009.

The cost of house, water, electricity, gas and etc. also fell in August by 6.1% compared to August 2008, and by 6% compared with December 2008, although rising by 0.1% compared to July 2009.

Transport costs fell 6% in August, clothes and footwear prices fell 5.8%, furniture prices fell 2.5%. Alcohol and tobacco prices fell by 0.7%. Annual inflation in August 2009 was -3.1%.

Interpressnews has been told by economic expert Davit Narmania that according to the official statistics the price tendency is positive. He said that prices had jumped in August 2008, when Georgia’s main highway and the railways were blocked, but gradually stabilised afterwards.

7 November launches new campaign called ‘Murder in Town’

The 7 November youth movement has launched a new protest campaign called Murder in Town, its representatives Dachi Tsaguria and Irakli Kordzaia said at a press conference yesterday.

The 7 November members are protesting about the release of Sandro Girgvliani’s murderers and say this is dangerous to the Georgian population. Protest actions will be held outside the homes of the convicted killers and photos displayed there.

Dachi Tsaguria stated that the group demands that all political prisoners be released and the Sandro Girgvliani and Buta Robakidze cases reinvestigated.