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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 31
Tbilisi Municipal Transport to be free from 22:00 to 03:00 on 31 December

Tbilisi municipal transport will be free from 22:00 to 03:00 on 31 December and special services will run from 00:00 to 03:00 from the outskirts of the capital to Rustaveli Avenue to enable people to attend and take part in the New Year feast. Head of the transportation service Akaki Jokhadze told journalists this at Tbilisi City Hall yesterday. 16 new routes have been set which will be served by 50 buses. (Interpressnews)

Polish President to visit Batumi on January 14

The President of Poland, Lech Kaczinsky, will visit Batumi on January 14, his administration has told media outlets in Warsaw.

The meeting he will attend in Batumi will be a continuation of the energy security issues discussion which began at the international energy summit in Krakow in 2007. High-level negotiations have been held in Vilnius, Kiev and Baku since then.

The top issue at the Batumi summit will be the Odessa-Gdansk oil pipeline construction. (Rustavi 2)

Tbilgaz and Tbilisi cleaning service debts written off

The Government decided at its session yesterday to write off the debts people owe to Tbilgaz, Vice-Mayor of Tbilisi Mamuka Akhvlediani stated. The write-off concerns debts accumulated until 1 June 2006, a sum of more than GEL 2.5 million overall.

Akhvlediani also said that the Tbilisi municipal government had taken the decision to free the population from cleaning service payment debts. He explained that debts accumulated till 1 January 2010 will be written off, a sum of around GEL 18 million. He added that this doesn’t mean that Tbilisi residents will never pay for cleaning services. (Interpressnews)

Alliance for Georgia will not take part in opposition primary

The Alliance for Georgia will not take part in the primary designed to identify a common opposition candidate for Tbilisi Mayor. A statement from its Press Service states, "Holding a primary presents many dangers, chiefly that it will be used to cause conflict between opposition forces."

The Alliance for Georgia is calling on the parties to agree among themselves to support a joint candidate. (Interpressnews)

Free medical treatment given to refugees at Gardabani

Free medical treatment has been given to refugees settled in Gardabani. On the initiative of Gardabani Hospital, 121 refugees have been examined by means of laboratory testing, echoscopy, cardiology and ophthalmology. Refugees from Shida Kartli also received free medicine, and children were given warm clothes, books and copy-books.

The free examination of the refugees at Gardabani is held regularly thanks to an initiative by the Healthcare Ministry and Gardabani Hospital. (Interpressnews)

Russian political analyst sums up 2009

Andrey Ilarionov , the Russian libertarian economist and former economic policy advisor to Vladimir Putin, has summed up the political developments of 2009.

At a press conference held in Moscow yesterday, Ilarionov said that the Act of Liberty announced by President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili had been an "unprecedented" political event. Putin's former advisor said that no one has taken such a liberal step in any post-Soviet state. He also slammed the Russian leadership for their unacceptable amendments to the Law on Defence, saying this was the worst decision the Russian Government had made.

Ilarionov said that the surprise of the year was the intention of both Medvedev and Putin to run for President next time round. Ilarionov also focused on the "civil war in the North Caucasus, which the Russian authorities do not want to recognise." (Rustavi 2)