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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Wednesday, December 16
The Government discusses occupied territories' strategy with experts

Rezonansi reports that the second round of discussion of the Georgian strategy for the occupied territories has taken place at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel, at which State Minister of Georgia for Reintegration Issues Temur Iakobashvili and other Government representatives met with 20 experts.

“Criticism was provoked by the use of the term "occupied territories". Abkhazians and Ossetians do not think they are occupied and it is improper to constantly refer to these regions as such in the strategy document. It is better to refer to these territories as conflict territories," stated Paata Zakareishvili, one of the experts attending the meeting. “I said that the principles of war should be outlined in the document. They explained to me that this issue has been foreseen and a separate document would be created," stated Mamuka Areshidze.

The final strategy concerning the occupied territories would be decided by the end of the year, said Temur Iakobashvili, who nevertheless added that it should be ready before then so that it could be improved and he would consult interested political parties on this. However Georgia will not divert from its course on the occupied territories, Iakobashvili reiterated at the meeting. He pointed out that Georgia was preparing this document while Abkhazia was holding illegal elections.

“There were many remarks made which the State Minister’s representative added to the document. One was that it talks only about the Georgian-Ossetian conflict but we must not avoid admitting that this is also an internal conflict of Georgia. It was pointed out that after Russian journalists have visited the conflict zone they have problems entering Georgia," stated Paata Zakareishvili.

An epidemic must be declared, says Labour

Akhali Taoba writes that due to the current flu situation in Georgia Soso Shatberashvili of the Labour Party has held a press conference at which he stated that there is already an H1N1 flu epidemic in Georgia.

"The situation is disturbing. We demand that the Government immediately takes the appropriate measures in such cases by declaring a special health emergency and special holidays in schools and kindergartens and giving infected people flu medicines free of charge. All these measures are necessary to prevent the flu epidemic becoming a pandemic," Shatberashvili said.

Goga Khachidze and Koba Subeliani might leave the Cabinet

Akhali Taoba reports that there will be another Cabinet reshuffle in January, which might be the last one of this Government. It is widely believed that Economic Minister Zurab Pololikalishvili is to resign. Goga Khachidze and Koba Subeliani might be removed, and the opposition is suggesting that Bacho Akhalaia will also be dismissed.

Health Minister Sandro Kvitashvili might also leave before the local elections. Dmitry Shashkin is likely to remain in post.