The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Compiled by Mzia Kupunia
Monday, August 30
IDPs living in Zugdidi break the silence

IDPs settled in Zugdidi broke a 7-year silence and protested against the “unbearable living conditions,” Sakartvelos Respublika reports. They gathered at the office of the Abkhazian legitimate government in Zugdidi and accused the representative of the legitimate government in-exile in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, Tornike Kilanava of being “inactive”. The IDPs complained about the rising prices while their monthly allowance remains the same. “You should stand with us,” the IDPs told Kilanava “you will not be able to tell our claims to Subeliani and Baramia, because then you will be forced to leave your post, so we ask you to be a mediator and ask them to come to Zugdidi. We will tell them our claims face to face,” they added, according to Sakartvelos Respublika.

Kilanava promised to do everything to help the IDPs, but stressed that their capacities are limited. “Our budget decreases year by year. The IDPs are also being classified into different groups; we are not being invited to any important events, tenders or planning of the projects. Neither are the IDPs active, so we should stand together in order to become a respectful power,” he stated. Meanwhile the IDPs threatened that if Minister Koba Subeliani and the head of the Abkhazian legitimate Government in-exile, Gia Baramia do not visit them in Zugdidi, they will go to Tbilisi by themselves.

Sale of Citrus harvest a priority for Georgian government

Selling the citrus harvest without loss is an important issue for Georgian farmers, 24 Saati reports. Although there are still a few months to the start of the citrus harvest, the government has already started preparations. The Prime Minister's Aide in private sector issues, Giorgi Pertaia met representatives of local farmers, citrus production enterprises and export companies in Batumi. According to Pertaia, the farmers and exporter companies have certain problems every year. “So the government is interested in the kind of problems they might face this year and how officials can help them overcome those obstacles,” Pirtakhia stated. “Boosting the export of Georgian products is a priority issue for the Georgian government. Citrus exporting companies used to have problems entering the markets of different foreign countries and now our aims is to meet the harvest season in an organised manner and to prevent problems which the farmers and the export companies used to face,” he told 24 Saati newspaper.

The citrus export companies have recently been trying to enter new markets. This requires knowledge of new rules, legislation and export market specifics. According to the Prime Minister's Aide, the Georgian government will give them advice on this. “Markets of every country have their own rules. Before entering any of them, the export company should be aware of those rules. However, this is not always the case. We have diplomats in every country. This enables us to help the export companies if necessary,” Pertaia said.

Following the Russian embargo on Georgian products, there were several cases when the farmers threw away several tonnes of citrus as there was no demand on the markets. Pertaia said the farmers will not face such problems this year. “Representatives of the citrus export companies told me that they have already received several orders from foreign markets, so there is demand and selling the fruit should not be a problem for farmers,” Pertaia noted.

Experts suggest that Georgia will have a smaller citrus harvest this year than it in 2009. Last year the yield was 105 thousand tonnes of citrus, while this year specialists predict that the figure will decrease by 50-60 thousand tonnes.