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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 17
Lado Papava – the Alliance is a new phenomenon

"Tbilisi has an active Mayor who wants to stay in post but the National Movement has not nominated him yet. Therefore, there is something not right in the National Movement ranks," political analyst Professor Lado Papava says in an interview with Kviris Palitra.

"The opposition were united during the spring protest actions aiming at removing Saakashvili. But as it turns out the various individuals and parties involved have radically different opinions or no opinions at all. The desire to remove the present Government is all that united them," Papava says.

"There are two wings of the opposition: on the one hand, well-known but tired people and parties and on the other hand genuine contenders. Zviad Dzidziguri, Kakha Kukava and Koba Daviatshvili are well-known figures but their parties do not have serious influence on the public. I can say the same thing about Noghaideli’s party. The public does not know anyone except Noghaideli and Petre Mamradze in that party," Papava says.

"David Gamkrelidze and David Usupashvili are significant political figures who have given up their personal ambitions. This is a new phenomenon in Georgian politics. They openly support Irakli Alasania, and we should not forget that one of the most popular figures in Georgian politics, Sozar Subari, has also joined the Alliance and directly supports Alasania. Here we have relations based on certain values," Papava says.

"Alasania is a real alternative to Saakashvili for the West. We should not lose that alternative. Levan Gachechiladze had never been considered such an alternative, despite the great internal support he has had. He would be better if he supports the pro-Western powers," Papava concludes.

The price of sugar will decrease

Kviris Palitra writes that the continual rises in the sugar price will soon end. Recently sugar has fallen 8 lari and you can now buy a sack for only 83 lari wholesale. This will be reflected in the market in approximately ten days and the price of a kilo will fall 20 tetri or so.

It should be mentioned that the sugar price has only risen recently. Only 6-7 months ago a sack was only 65 lari.

Manager of Georgian Sugar Lasha Isakadze explains that a very poor harvest has created the price rises. "Last year there was tremendous damage to the sugar crop in India. Due to constant drought it ended up with a deficit of sugar, which turned one of the biggest sugar exporting countries into an importer. Similiarly Russia and Ukraine faced serious problems as their cane harvests were miserably low. Environmental factors are very important in this industry. The production of biofuel from cereal crops also has an effect. In addition to all this sugar often becomes the subject of speculation, meaning that certain traders are making money out of this situation," Isakadze said.

In India sugar production is now 159.9 million tonnes and consumption 167.1 million. Therefore its sugar deficit is now 8 million tonnes. Georgian sugar consumers and producers cannot avoid being affected by global trends. However concerns have arisen that the sugar market is monopolised and prices are thus artificial high. Georgian Sugar does not deny that imports of sugar are frozen and only local production used, but it says that it does not set the prices.

The H1N1 virus has stopped spreading in Georgia

According to the National Centre of Disease Prevention the second wave of Swine Flu infection is over in Georgia, Sakartvelos Respublika writes. It says that the second wave of the virus wasn’t as serious as the first.

The country is no longer under threat of Swine Flu infection spreading but we may still face a new danger of this in autumn and winter. 1,287 cases of H1N1 infection have been recorded in Georgia, 33 lethal.