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The News in Brief

Friday, June 25
Grigol Vashadze – link between marginal opposition and criminals was known long before Austrian Police report

Information of links between the marginal opposition and criminals existed before the Austrian Police report was published, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze stated at a joint briefing after meeting his Austrian counterpart Michael Spindelegger.

Spindelegger noted that when the reports appeared in the German press he was not in Austria and he is not informed about this issue. "We are checking this information. I’m going to meet the Minister of Interior Affairs of Austria. If the Austrian Police really have such information it will be handed over to Georgia," Spindelegger stated.

The Georgian Minister noted that the Austrian side had expressed sorrow at the leak. (Interpressnews)

Georgia’s largest trading partner is Turkey

Georgia’s number 1 trading partner is still Turkey, the Department of Statistics says.

Georgia's 10 largest trade partners accounted for 67% of total foreign trade turnover in January-May 2010. Turkey was first among them with USD 402 million, followed by Azerbaijan with USD 247 million and Ukraine with USD 238 million.

In January-May 2010 the foreign trade turnover of Georgia was over USD 2.434 billion, 22 percent less than in the same period of 2009.

Exports amounted to USD 608.4 million during the first 5 months of 2010, up 49 percent in comparison with the same period of 2009, whereas imports were USD 1.827 billion, 14 percent more than in the same period of 2009. (Prime News)

Probationers to be involved in re-metering

JSC Energo-Pro Georgia has begun to employ probationers who will be involved in the re-metering process being undertaken in regions of Georgia.

Over 300 probationers will start working in Kaspi district in the Shida Kartli region. 68 will be involved in the individual re-metering process and have already undertaken the relevant training. They will receive GEL 6 for each meter installed.

The probationers will be paid from GEL 300 to 700 per month. (Prime News)

Georgia and Equatorial Guinea establish diplomatic relations

Georgia and Equatorial Guinea signed a joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic relations on June 23.

According to the communique the establishment of diplomatic relations serves the interests of both countries. In their mutual relations the sides will be guided by principles of respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

In compliance with international practice in the establishment of diplomatic relations between two countries they have sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General. The joint communique was signed by Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea to the United Nations Anatoio Ndong Mba and Permanent Representative of Georgia to UN Alexander Lomaia.

Equatorial Guinea is the thirtieth African country with which Georgia has established diplomatic relations.

In 2010 Georgia has established diplomatic relations with 17 states. (Prime News)

Labour Party demands expedited discussion of amendments to Criminal Code

Labour Party leaders say that the abuse of religious feelings should be punishable under the criminal code of Georgia. Ioseb Shatberashvili of the party said at a briefing yesterday that the initial punishment for this should be a monetary fine but a second offence should result in a custodial sentence.

The opposition party is demanding a speeded-up discussion of the amendments it has submitted to Parliament for consideration. It has sent a letter to Parliament Speaker Davit Bakradze in this regard. (Rustavi 2)

Abkhaz kill another Georgian in Gali

Abkhaz militia have killed a second member of the Anjaparidze family. They initially detained three brothers of the family, seeking to force them to claim responsibility for the murder of the Governor of the village of Reti, but killed one on Wednesday. Yesterday they tortured another.

The cousin of the violence victims, Vepkhia Anjaparidze, is in Agudzera hospital in a critical state. He is unconscious and connected to a respirator. The other members of the family have been killed in order to hide the violence against the brothers. (Rustavi 2)