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The News in Brief

Monday, November 15
Construction of new hotels starts in Kobuleti

Construction of new hotels has begun in Georgia’s Black Sea region of Adjara. Foundations were laid for the building work of 12 projects in the pine forest territory in Kobuleti’s tourist zone on Saturday.

The Georgian President met representatives of the companies involved in the construction in Kobuleti. Mikheil Saakashvili talked about future development plans and the advantages the government intends to offer enterprises.

Around a thousand locals will be employed in the construction of the tourist town which is set over several hundreds of hectares. The companies will enjoy tax advantages for 15 years, provided the hotels are operating on time.

“Land in the Kobuleti tourist zone was given free-of-charge to entrepreneurs to assist their businesses. Very soon we will provide water and gas supplies and construct a modern road enabling tourists to travel to or from Batumi within 15 minutes. This territory is actually a part of Batumi,” Saakashvili said at the presentation of the Kobuleti free tourist zone.

“I want to tell all the Doubting Thomases, who say that Georgians are running away from the country and not investing in the country that nearly all the companies participating in the construction of these hotels are Georgian. There are also foreign investors who are intensively employing local residents,” Saakashvili commented.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia may block Russia’s WTO entry

There is still a possibility that Georgia could block the Russian bid to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but Russia hopes for the support of other countries on this issue, a senior Kremlin official said on Sunday.

“The problem [with Georgia] still remains,” presidential economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters on the sidelines of the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Japan’s Yokohama.

“However, all those who support Russia’s WTO bid will help us to achieve our goal,” Dvorkovich said, reiterating that Russia will most likely join the organisation by the end of 2011.

Georgian Prime Minister Niko Gilauri said on October 7 that his country would not support Russia’s WTO bid unless the two states agreed on customs procedures for the former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent after the war.

However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Sunday acknowledged progress in the process of Russia's accession to the WTO and thanked the U.S. government for its support of the Russian bid.

Russia, the only major economy outside the global trade body, has been seeking WTO membership since 1993.

Public Holiday ‘Abkhazetoba 2010’ Held at Ethnographic Museum

The Abkhazian autonomic republic’s government organised a public holiday Abkhazetoba 2010 on November 14. Cultural and educational events were held at the museum. Abkhazian song and dance state ensemble, Abkhazian youth choirs, eminent Georgian singers, creative groups and children ensembles took part in the events.

Works of Abkhazian painters and handicrafts by teenagers and books were also exhibited and a Georgian-Abkhazian traditional wedding party was held at the ethnographic museum. Abkhazetoba has been held since 2009

Deputy Head of Ossetian Administration of Akhalgori dismissed

Alexandre Baratashvili, Georgian deputy head of the Ossetian administration of Akhalgori, has been dismissed, InterPressNews was told by residents of Akhalgori. Accordion to them, the dismissal decision was taken a few days ago; it is presumes that the reason is recent problems with the de-facto administration.

Alexandre Baratashvili will be replaced by Ossetian Alan Jusoev.

Illia II hopes School Directors will be reinstated

Patriarch of All Georgia, Illia II hopes the Education Minister Dmitry Shashkin will reinstate the dismissed directors of public schools to their positions.

“People say several directors were dismissed. I am acquainted with Dmitry Shashkin. He is a noble person. I am sure he will return the directors to schools,” stated the Patriarch.

Illia II is very concerned about the current state in schools. “The education process should be planned by scholars and not by officials,” he said.

The Patriarch does not believe the police should control and supervise schools. “Thank God our country’s education has been strengthened. We now have more educational establishments under the church aegis than previously. We are trying for all monasteries to be centres not only of spirituality, but of science. Georgians should not be without education,” Illia ll said.

He appealed to people to read more books and not to waste, commenting that computers and TV alone are not enough.

Leaders of New Rights Party prohibited from observing Parliament in Kutaisi

Leaders of the New Rights Party were not allowed to observe the construction of a new parliament in the city of Kutaisi, Imereti region.

The leaders held a briefing in Kutaisi on November 14. “We wanted to see where tens of millions were spent. The money belongs to the Georgian people, including us. However, we faced categorical resistance there,” Davit Gamkrelidze said.

The party leaders arrived in Kutaisi on Friday for meetings with their supporters. The Georgian Parliament will presumably move to Kutaisi by 2012.

Man falls into lift shaft in children’s hospital

One man was injured in an accident in Children’s hospital No.3 in Tbilisi on Sunday. A clinic driver fell into the elevator shaft from the ground floor.

The Emergency brigade transported Davit Okruashvili to clinic hospital no.4 with multiple injuries.

Representatives of the children’s hospital said the lift has been damaged for some time. During the accident it was being repaired and the cabin was not on the ground floor and the shaft was empty.
(Rustavi 2)