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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 12
North Caucasians to enter Georgia without a Visa

As per the decree of the Georgian President, citizens of some republics of the Russian Federation will be able to cross the Georgian border without visas in two weeks time. This was announced by Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze at a briefing yesterday.

According to the minister, citizens of Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Adygei will be able to come to Georgia without a visa and stay in the country for up to 90 days.

Kalandadze says the main reason for the decision was the liberalisation of the visa regime. Since the opening of the Larsi checkpoint, citizens of the above-mentioned republics had to travel to Moscow to get a Georgian visa.

“Another reason is restoration of normal relations with our neighbours. In addition these people want to study in Georgian universities,” Kalandadze said.

Parliament to adopt Constitutional Amendments Bill this week

Parliament will adopt the constitutional amendments bill this week. The day of the vote will be decided at the cabinet meeting of Parliament on October 11.

A committee on legal issues will hold the discussion of the constitutional amendments bill with the third hearing, envisaging only editorial remarks.

The Venice Commission has already published its recommendations regarding the draft of constitutional amendments, which raises a number of criticisms, particularly regarding the appointment of judges with a probation period, as well as in connection with the process of expressing distrust towards the government by parliament, etc.

Work on the draft of the constitutional amendments lasted a year.
(Prime News)

Orthodox Church delegations arrive in Tbilisi

Delegations from orthodox churches representing several countries, including Russia, were due to arrive in Tbilisi yesterday for the Svetitskhoveli holiday.

The delegations are from Jerusalem, Albania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and the US, InterpressNews was told by a spokesman for the Patriarchate of Georgia.

The guests will participate in events dedicated to the Svetitskhoveli holiday. More delegations will arrive on 12, 13 October also. The Russian delegation will arrive on 13 October; the Polish delegation is already in Tbilisi.

Today the visitors will take part in a conference dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of the Svetitskhoveli church.

US Embassy Holds Annual Education Exhibition

The second annual educational exhibition showcasing American universities organised by the U.S. embassy to Georgia opened on October 11.

Seminars on higher education in the US, governmental funding of education programmes and meetings with representatives and university graduates are being held.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for students and pupils to meet and talk with representatives of U.S. universities, in order to obtain information about enrolling in US universities and government funding for programmes.

For more information, students can also address the International Centre of Education. The International Centre for Education and the “Kvali” information and education centre are funded by the U.S. State Department. These organisations provide free consultations to all who wish to pursue their education in the United States.

Italian Business Board Annual Meeting - October 13

An annual meeting of the Italian Business Board is scheduled to be held at the Sheraton Metekhi Palace hotel in Tbilisi on October 13. The Italian embassy announced that about 30 Italian companies working in Georgia will take part in the annual meeting of the Italian Business Board.

The meeting is organized by the Embassy of Italy to Georgia in cooperation with the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE). Participants will be able to share their views on business opportunities as well as on problems recently encountered by Italian companies in Georgia.

Healthcare Minister explains his recent initiative

“The restriction of selling medicines only with a prescription will be for medication of psychotropic intention,” the Minister of Health and Social Care, Andria Urushadze announced at a Tbilisi pharmacy yesterday.

The Minister downplayed the concerns of citizens that followed his recent initiative to impose a new rule for issuing prescriptions for medications and said the initiative aimed to protect people’s interests and put an end to corruption deals between pharmaceutical companies and doctors.

“Citizens will face no problems while buying medicines, which are freely available in Georgia. The initiative is to introduce a standard prescription, which has not existed in the country during the past ten years. Doctors only used to give information or advertising booklets and earn money through having deals with specific pharmaceutical companies,” explained the Minister.
(Rustavi 2)