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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 19
Turkish companies want to build Hydropower plants

Two Turkish companies, Kura Energy and Optimum Energi Uretim A.S., are interested in building hydropower plants on the River Acharistskali.

The deadline for submitting applications to the Georgian Ministry of Energy in this regard expired on May 17. The Ministry will consider the documentation submitted by the companies and will ask them to submit the required bank guarantees if it meets the relevant standards. The Georgian Government will then identify the winning company. (Prime News)

Nino Burjanadze returns from Kiev

Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Democratic Movement United Georgia, returned from Kiev yesterday morning. She did not give details of her visit to the journalists assembled at the airport but said she would talk about lots of interesting things when Government TV channels allowed her to. She protested against the checking of her luggage, claiming this was a Government provocation.

Burjanadze left Tbilisi on 7 May to attend the celebrations in Moscow marking the 65th anniversary of victory in the Second World War. She was invited there as an honoured guest. (Interpressnews)

Court rejects opposition leader's lawsuit

Tbilisi City Court has rejected the grievance of Salome Zourabichvili, leader of The Way of Georgia, which is part of the Alliance for Georgia. "The grievance is groundless and will not be accepted for consideration," the court ruled.

Zourabichvili was complaining about the non-transparency of the municipal project I Love Tbilisi. Zourabichvili told journalists that she had requested information about the financial flow of the project but been told that I Love Tbilisi was not a project. "It is very interesting that a political party or an individual cannot get information about the funding of a municipal project," Zourabichvili said. (Rustavi 2)

Hailstorm inflicts serious damage on villages in Kakheti

A hailstorm has inflicted serious damage on the village on Balghojiani in the Kakheti region. 70 percent of the local population's harvest has been destroyed.

Gardens, vineyards and agricultural land have been lashed by the hail. The storm has also unroofed buildings, windows have been broken down and the yards and basements of dozens of homes have been flooded.

The village of Tsitskanaantseri has also been lashed by the hail. Trees were uprooted there. As a consequence, traffic movement on the Kvareli-Lagodekhi highway was blocked for 40 minutes. The trees have now been removed from the highway and traffic movement has been restored.

Electricity poles have fallen down and three villages have been blacked out. A special commission is calculating the damage inflicted on the district. (Rustavi 2)

Unique archaeological discovery found in Adjara Region

A unique archaeological discovery has been made in the Adjara region. A resident of the village of Makho in Khelvachauri district discovered wine storage equipment belonging to the ancient Kolkhian Culture whilst cultivating land in his yard. The man reported his discoveries to representatives of the Batumi National Museum.

Experts presume the discovered items belong to the 1st or 2nd century AD and prove the existence of ancient settlements on the territory. They say that tombs may be discovered there too. Excavations have already begun. (Rustavi 2)

In Memoriam Mukhran Machavariani

The 12th International Book Festival opened at the Grand Concert Hall in Tbilisi yesterday by observing a minute's silence for the late Georgian poet Mukhran Machavariani, who died on May 17 at the age of 81 on the stage of the Rustaveli Theatre. He was attending the event dedicated to the 85th anniversary of poet Pridon Khalvashi and had a heart attack as he was about to make a speech. Unfortunately doctors could not save him.

Mukhran Machavariani was born in the village of Argveta, in the Sachkhere region, on April 12, 1929. He was a previous holder of the Shota Rustaveli State Prize and a member of the Georgian Parliament from 1990-1992. From 1988-1990 he chaired the Union of Georgian Writers. He will be interred on May 22.

The International Book Festival, organised by the Ministry of Culture and the Tbilisi Municipality, will last four days. Over 80 publishing houses, bookstores, museums and libraries will display their products during these four days. The festival also includes various events and presentations. (The Messenger)