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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 28
Malta and Georgia sign double taxation avoidance agreement

Malta and Georgia signed a double taxation avoidance agreement yesterday, Deputy Finance Minister Zaza Chelidze said at a press conference. Chelidze said they had also signed such an agreement with Kuwait this month.

“Georgia, like other countries, is going through the post-crisis period. It is important to encourage and increase investment to finally resolve the crisis. When a double taxation avoidance agreement is signed between two states it stimulates residents of one to make investments in the other,” the Deputy Minister stated.

Georgia has signed double taxation avoidance agreements with 26 countries, and a further seven have to be ratified, those with Russia, Turkey, France, Luxembourg, Ireland and the two with Kuwait and Malta. Work on developing such agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, South American states, UK and Switzerland is in progress. Georgia may also draft a double taxation avoidance agreement with Singapore by the end of the year. (Interpressnews)

Edinaia Abkhazia nominates Sergey Bagapsh for ‘President of Abkhazia’

The Edinaia Abkhazia party has nominated Sergey Bagapsh, the incumbent so-called President of Abkhazia, as its candidate in the forthcoming Presidential elections there, RIA Novosti reports. He was nominated at a congress held yesterday, attended by 471 delegates.

According to Abkhazian legislation, only 4 parties have the right to nominate a ‘Presidential candidate’, Edinaia Abkhazia, the Public Unity Forum, the Economic Development Party and the People’s Party. The Economic Development Party has nominated Beslan Butba. Nominations began on 13 October and will end on 2 November, with the so-called elections being held on 12 December. (Interpressnews)

Accident at Dighomi football stadium

An accident occurred at the Dighomi football stadium on Sunday in which 9-year-old Giorgi Kinkladze died. Eyewitnesses said that the child was hanging from the crossbar of the goal, which came off and fell on him. He was taken to Zhvania clinic but the doctors could not save him.

Supervisor of the stadium Irakli Giorgadze has stated that the goal should have been fastened with chains to the fence, but this was not done yesterday. Head of Tbilisi Social Services and the Civil Service of Culture Mamuka Katsarava stated that law enforcers were investigating the accident but that the company building the stadium had not violated safety measures. He said that all the stadiums have supervisors, and the supervisor presumes the chain that was to fasten the goal was stolen several hours before the accident.

Katsarava said that the goals were not fixed so that children would receive fewer traumas if they crashed into them, just fastened with chains to the fence. Tbilisi City Hall will cover the boy’s funeral expenses. (Interpressnews)

Local councils to gain more powers

Local authorities in Georgia may soon have broader authority, and the relevant amendment to the Constitution has been already drafted. Under the amendment local councils will be authorised to hold referendums on specific issues. A working draft of the amendment has been prepared and the Constitutional Commission will begin to discuss it tomorrow.

Members of the Commission believe that some decisions would be better made by local rather than central authorities. Secretary of the Commission Tengiz Sharmanashvili says it is quite logical that these Constitutional amendments should be implemented before the next local government elections. He said holding these would be inappropriate before the Constitutional status and the authority of these bodies are determined. (Rustavi 2)

Gamsakhurdia to have his mandate restored at next session of Parliament

Leader of the Freedom Party Konstantine Gamsakhurdia has submitted a statement addressed to the Parliament Speaker asking for the restoration of his MP mandate, which he tore up after the last Parliamentary elections, calling them “forged.”

Vice Speaker Mikheil Machavariani instructed the Procedure Committee to discuss the statement and undertake relevant procedures to return the mandate to Konstantine Gamsakhurdia. The final procedure will be a vote at the next plenary session of Parliament.

Gamsakhurdia is the only opposition politician who has accepted the proposal of the President and decided to reclaim his seat. (Rustavi 2)

Higher education available for convicted prisoners

A working meeting was held yesterday at the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia regarding education reform within the penitentiary system. The Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Dimitri Shashkin, the Minister of Education and Science, Nika Gvaramia, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Education, Science and Culture, Goka Gabashvili, and the heads of higher educational institutes attended.

The group discussed the issues arising from the reform of higher education in penitentiary establishments. The Ministry is in the process of moving to the second stage of the reform, which envisages giving higher education to convicts.

The Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance has successfully completed the first stage, in which every juvenile convict now has the opportunity to receive secondary education and a certificate, through close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science. The curriculum of these studies is in compliance with that of the national education programme. The teachers working with the convicts have been retrained on mandatory courses designed specifically for those teaching in prisons.

As a result of the successful implementation of this reform six juvenile convicts passed the Unified National Examinations this year. Based on their scores, one of the convicts was accepted into one of the most popular university faculties, Business and Management.

The Ministry has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Ilia Chavchavadze State University, the Technical University of Georgia and Tavartkiladze Economic Relations and Law University as part of the reforms. (Rustavi 2)