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Compiled by Keti Baramidze
Tuesday, June 1
Patriarch advises youngsters to return to books

Kviris Palitra reports that the printing house at Sameba Cathedral has been officially opened. Patriarch Ilia II attended this event with bishops. The printing-house was first set up a year ago and since then has produced a wide variety of religious books and icon reproductions.

The Patriarch made a speech in which he stated solemnly that Georgian people are returning to books and reading them more actively than before. Recently books, unfortunately, have been forgotten and people have been addicted to TV. This is inadmissible as books must be our most devoted friends, the Patriarch asserted.

Ilia II added that if we want our children to love books we must frequently read them fairy tales. The Patriarch also recalled the opening of St. John's Gospel: "In the beginning was the Word." He said he wanted this to be the name of the printing house as he thinks this will make our nation “convert to Christianity” again.

Tortladze’s main interest was receiving funds from the state

Kviris Palitra writes that a while ago Giorgi Gurgulia left Gia Tortladze’s party and announced that he was withdrawing his local election candidature in favour of Irakli Alasania and his candidate for Vake David Saganelidze. Despite this he still appeared in Tortladze’s political ads on TV.

Giorgi Gurgulia states in an interview that he joined Tortladze’s party for one purpose: to bring people together and end disagreements between opponents. "I joined Tortladze’s party to reconcile conflicting parties, but they told me that this was impossible, as if the country belonged to the political parties [and they set the agenda for the people]. The deplorable fact is that supporters of the Government and supporters of the opposition can’t stand each other and as a result of this terrible situation hostility reigns in our country”, Gurgulia says, adding that from his point of view the opposition made a big mistake by joining the Government as it could have done much more than this.

Gurgulia also says that Tortladze blocked his initiatives, one of which concerned student employment. He stresses that at that time no one was talking about this but later the Nationals started doing so and built their whole election campaign on the basis of it. “One of my other ideas was to declare people addicted to narcotics to be sick and diseased rather than criminals, but this idea was also stolen by the Nationals,” says Gurgulia.

Tortladze’s main interest was to get enough votes to get over the election threshold and thus receive funds from the Government. He was less interested in whether his candidates won or lost. That’s why his candidates’ leaflets weren’t distributed during the campaign.