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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 9
President opens chocolate factory in Natakhtari

The President of Georgia opened the Barambo chocolate factory in Natakhtari today. The President viewed the new enterprise and asked questions about who was employed there and what their salaries and working conditions were. The factory has 160 employees and produces 50 types of chocolate.

The President said that opening such enterprises was significant for the country's economy and the development of the tourist infrastructure. "From the economic point of view, everything is like a chain. When an enterprise is opened, it needs a new road to provide transportation to the factory, and needs hotels to attract tourists to buy its products," President Saakashvili said.

Before visiting the factory Saakashvili opened a rehabilitated street in Mtskheta.
(Rustavi 2)

Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance meets EBRD representatives

Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Khatuna Kalmakhelidze has met representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). They discussed building the new Laituri penitentiary and the possibility of allocating financial resources for this from the bank.

The construction of this facility in the Guria region will be another very important contribution to Georgian penitentiary system development, said Khatuna Kalmakhelidze. The EBRD delegation received detailed information about the project. "Improving the conditions of convicts is our main goal and creating the Laituri prison is an important step in this process," the Minister said.

Irakli Alasania holds meetings in Munich

Irakli Alasania, the leader of the Alliance for Georgia, held several more meetings on the last day of the 46th Security Conference in Munich.

According to the press service of the Alliance for Georgia Alasania met German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and influential US senators Joseph Lieberman and John McCain. European security problems and the situation in Georgia since the August war were discussed at these meetings.

Alasania also talked with the US Presidentís Advisor on Security Issues James Jones, the OSCE Secretary General, the Foreign Ministers of Sweden, Estonia and Azerbaijan and the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey.

Movement for Fair Georgia demands unbiased investigation

The Movement for Fair Georgia, led by Zurab Noghaideli, has released a video it has received which shows ethnic Ossetians being subjected to violence.

Party members say the video depicts three ethnic Ossetians being brutally beaten, allegedly by Georgians. They say that the video is of inferior quality and it is hard to make out the persons involved or where the incident is taking place and they have called upon the Prosecutor's Office to investigate the authenticity of the video and find out if Georgian law enforcers have actually arrested three Ossetians.

The opposition movement says that the Prosecutor's Office did not respond to its request in due time.
(Rustavi 2)

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia's trial postponed

The trial of Tsotne Gamsakhurdia, son of first President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, has been postponed due to the illness of Judge Merab Jorbenadze. Gamsakhurdiaís lawyer Keti Bekauri has told Caucasus Press that the judge was taken to hospital and no new date for the trial has yet been set.

Tsotne Gamsakhurdia denies the charges of attempted murder and spying for Russia levelled against him. He has been on hunger strike since December 25.
(Caucasus Press)

Spanish businessmen visit Georgia

A delegation of Spanish businessmen, 30 representatives of 20 companies, has arrived in Georgia. It will stay until February 11 and participate in the Georgian-Spanish business forum.

The delegation will also hold meetings with representatives of Georgia's economic and financial sectors, attend presentations and become acquainted with the investment environment in the country and possible investment projects in the fields of energy, transport, environment and infrastructure.
(Caucasus Press)

Gas pipeline construction ends in Lagodekhi

The construction of a gas pipeline in Lagodekhi has been completed. The Kakheti Governorís Administration reports that gas is being installed in the village of Kabala. The Municipality also plans to install gas in the villages of Tsodniskari, Gelati, Ninigori, Vardisubani and Teli.

SOCAR Georgia is also installing natural gas in three villages of the Gurjaani Municipality: Vejini, Bakurtsikhe and Chumlaki. The company will construct a 35 km gas pipeline and install individual gas meters in order to supply gas to 3,000 households, SOCAR Georgia Gas Spokesman Temur Gajiev said.
(Caucasus Press)