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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 9
Changes to UK Visa Services in Tbilisi with effect from 10th December 2010

From 10th December 2010 all decisions on UK visa applications lodged in Tbilisi will be made at the UK Border Agency visa section at the British Consulate-General in Istanbul.

Customers will continue to make their application online and then attend the UK Border Agency visa section at British Embassy in Tbilisi to provide their electronic fingerprint scans, pay the visa fee and submit their application. We will then transport passports and supporting documents by secure courier to Istanbul. Once a visa decision has been made, passports and documents will then be returned by secure courier to the visa section in Tbilisi where they can be collected.

Average processing times for visa applications will remain the same. All non-settlement applications should be submitted no less than 10 calendar days before the desired travel date. Submission occurs when you visit the visa section to have biometrics taken, and pay the fee. It is NOT the date that you lodge the application on line. All applicants are advised to apply as early as possible before travel to avoid disappointment. They should also ensure that they will not need access to their passport for travel or any other reason during this period.

Applicants can get more information on applying for a UK visa in Georgia at: For general information about UK visas go to (British Embassy Tbilisi)

Georgia-EU officials hold joint press conference in Brussels

Georgian and EU authorities have held a joint press conference after the session of the Georgia-EU Cooperation Council in Brussels on Tuesday. Stefan Fule European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy was yet another EU authority who used the term 'occupation' in regards to Georgia.

The European Commissioner and Georgia`s ambassador to EU, Salome Samadashvili discussed the situation in Georgia`s occupied regions, security issues and the measures aimed at providing peace on the ground.

The ambassador and the EU commissioner also discussed Georgia`s new state strategy towards the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Mr. Fule hailed Georgia`s progress in its reforms, which brought the country closer to the EU. (Rustavi 2)

Euronews Report over Abkhazian Refugee-Related Documentary

Euronews has broadcast a report on the documentary concerning refugees’ living from Abkhazia. The report is titled “Transit life”.

The report involves documentary shots from the film where refugees talk about their forceful displacement from their dwellings and about their current life.

“The documentary describes the lifestyle of 150 refugee families residing in an old house in Tbilisi suburbs”, the report says. The refugees state that they have no hope to ever be enabled to go back to their homes again. “We used to live quite well. The War broke out in 1992 resulting in our displacement from Abkhazia. Nowadays everything has been apparently resolved; there is no hope for return, anyway. I am like a robot. I wake up and go to sleep automatically. I do everything like a real robot”, says a refugee female.

The Euronews report presents the comments of the Producer Tamar Janaghania who says that she always wanted to make a film about refugees from Abkhazia. The report reviews the conflict's origin and outcomes – 250 000 people turning into refugees in their own country.

The movie will be shown at the Tbilisi film festival this week. (Interpressnews)

Kakha Baindurashvili – All Business Hampering Problems will be Overcome

In accordance with a new strategic course undertaken by Georgia’s Revenue Service, all the problems that businesses face today will be surmounted in 3-4 months. The statement was made by Georgia’s Finance Minister Kakha Baindurashvili prior to the government sitting yesterday. He will make a presentation to the Government concerning “the just, simple and reliable tax system of a new Revenue Service course”.

According to Baindurashvili, a new system implies all the business-related problems will be overcome. During 2010, Georgia’s government was preparing a new tax code. Relevant infrastructure and a range of business supporting procedures have been planned. ”The Code will take effect from January. New infrastructure will be implemented resolving many procedural problems. The part of the new services has already taken effect, the others will soon be implemented”, Baindurashvili said.

The Minister stated, that basically there had been administrative and system malfunction problems in the past. Customs-related difficulties mainly referred to infrastructure. They will be completely overcome after the Adlia and Poti roads have been opened. (Interpressnews)

Georgian customs seize $410,000 from Turkish citizen

Georgian customs officers have arrested a citizen of Turkey at Sarpi customs yesterday. Shevruk Kamil, 58, crossed the Georgia-Turkey border by his Kia vehicle, in which the officers found $410,000 in the luggage rack.

According to Georgian legislation, carrying money over $30,000 across the border is prohibited. The law envisages that the confiscated money will be transferred to the state budget.

Customs officers explained that Shevruk Kamil had to fill in a declaration about carrying money over $30,000 at the customs. (Rustavi 2)