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The News in Brief

Monday, May 17
Georgian President rewards successful schoolchildren

The Georgian President rewarded the winners of the International School Olympiads on Friday. Mikheil Saakashvili hosted the successful schoolchildren at the Presidential Palace. He congratulated them on their success and called on them to work harder to achieve more.

The Olympiad winners received diplomas, cash prizes and personal computers from the President. Among the schoolchildren were representatives of ethnic minorities and handicapped children.

"The main strategy of the country is to support you, who are creating the new Georgia. I measure progress in terms of how much we can increase the education level," the President told the schoolchildren. He talked about the ongoing reforms in the education system and said the age of criminality in schools is over.

"Under the reforms we have introduced security guards in schools and installed surveillance cameras. Instead of cash, children are using plastic cards. About 1,000 American volunteers will arrive in Georgia this year and go to all the regions and villages to teach English there. From September, all first-grade pupils will receive personal computers," Saakashvili said.
(Rustavi 2)

Vertical garden opens in Tbilisi

The first vertical garden has opened in Tbilisi. The living wall has been constructed at the Avlabari metro station by French botanist Patrick Land. Many European countries have similar gardens.

The vertical living wall comprises evergreen and blooming plants. 4,400 saplings of 104 species are planted on the,107 square metre wall.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava opened the vertical garden yesterday. "Although this garden does not look so nice today, it will be amazing in a month. This is the most up to date technology in the world. We should learn to reproduce this in Georgia as well. The previous age has left us so many unfortunate walls, so much deformity that we will not be able to destroy them all. Therefore, we should make them prettier, plant greenery and try to cover in this way what has been destroyed over dozens of years," Mikheil Saakashvili said.

Ugulava said that the construction of the vertical garden presents a good opportunity to make Tbilisi a more attractive city. "This is very important for increasing tourist and investment capacity, and all the investments made in Tbilisi mean employment and prosperity for the residents of Tbilisi," Gigi Ugulava said.
(Rustavi 2)

Labour Party asks EU to recommend to Saakashvili that he holds pre-term Presidential elections

The Labour Party is calling on the EU to recommend to Mikheil Saakashvili that he hold pre-term Presidential elections in the nearest future. On May 14 leader of the party Shalva Natelashvili made the corresponding statement after a meeting with EU Special Representative Peter Semneby at the party offices.

“The only way to resolve the critical situation in the country is to hold pre-term Presidential and Parliamentary elections”, Natelashvili said.
(Prime News)

Lawsuit being prepared against Patrol Police

The lawyers protesting in front of Parliament are preparing a suit against the patrol police, lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze has told Interpressnews.

Khachapuridze said that their protest was sanctioned and they had the right to put up tents in front of Parliament but the police wouldn’t let them. "When we told them that we had a permit from City Hall they said they knew, but still didn’t let us put up our tents. We are not a marginal group, we are lawyers and won’t put up with illegality", the lawyer said.

Khachapuridze said that he is preparing a lawsuit against the patrol police. The lawsuit will be submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office today. He said that the protests will continue. The lawyers are demanding amendments to the election code.

Ex-Georgian PM calls fugitive MP "President's project"

Leader of the opposition Movement for Fair Georgia and ex-Georgian PM Zurab Noghaideli has responded to a statement made by fugitive MP and businessperson Levan Pirveli by calling it incompetent and funny.

Levan Pirveli told journalists in Moscow that Zurab Noghaideli is a hesitant person unable to restore Russian-Georgian relations. Zurab Noghaideli in turn called Levan Pirveli the "President's project".

Pirveli plans to return to active politics and emerged for the cameras in Moscow yesterday to express his vision of how the political situation will develop in Georgia after the local elections. "I will be back in active politics," Pirveli told Rustavi 2, but he did not specify which party he would cooperate with in the future.

The former MP predicts changes of position within the Georgian opposition. "The May 30 election will reveal the many lies which exist in the Georgian opposition today and many opposition parties will change positions and form new groups. After this re-grouping I will find out which group is the most patriotic and chose my partners," Pirveli said.
(Rustavi 2)

Concert held in Senaki to support refugees

Aconcert was held in Senaki's central square yesterday in support of refugees. It was organised by the Coalition for Justice and the Altervision Group.

Sopo Khalvashi, ABC, Ketrine and Me and Dito Lagvilava took part in the concert. A similar one will be held in Kutaisi on 22 May.

150 guests will visit Georgia on 25-27 May. World stars MC Solaar, Youssou N'Dour, Maia.K, Jane Birkin, and Christophe Mae are among them, also public figures, French administrators and journalists.

The guests have been invited by two French NGOs and the Coalition for Justice, which says that the concert will inform the population about the 26 May event which will be held in Zugdidi.