The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, December 16
Georgian citizens to get EU entry visas more easily

Georgian citizens will be able to get EU entry visas more easily after a new visa agreement between the EU and Georgia was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. MEPs also backed an agreement with Tbilisi on the readmission of irregular immigrants.

The visa accord with Georgia will simplify the documents required for Georgian nationals who want a short-term visa for the EU. A decision on whether to issue a visa will have to be taken within 10 days of the application being lodged. The fee will be ˆ35.

Some people will not be required to pay a visa fee, for example students, journalists, pensioners, children below the age of 12, disabled people, close relatives of Georgian citizens legally residing in an EU Member State and civil society leaders. For certain groups, such as businesspeople, students or journalists, the documentation needed to support a visa application will be simplified. (Rustavi 2)

David Bakradze: New Budget Adequately Reflects Priorities of Government

Parliament will approve a new budget in a few days, according to the Chairman of parliament David Bakradze

According to Bakradze consultations with the government are ongoing in this regard.

“This is a budget that should ensure the continuation of sustainable development of the country, the implementation of the main challenges that exist in the country at present. These goals are the country’s construction, employment of people, continuation of infrastructural projects, improvement of social protection system, these are issues we permanently talk about with our society. I think that in the framework of the opportunities now available in the Georgian economy the new budget adequately reflects all directions and priorities ", - said Bakradze. (Prime-News)

Giorgi Baramidze Meets Alexander Vershbow

The State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow at the end of his visit to USA .

During the meeting discussions were held on the plan for fulfillment of the decision taken at the Bucharest summit regarding Georgia’s NATO integration. An adequate process for improving Georgia’s defense ability was also raised. It was underlined that diplomatic and political actions are important for Georgia’s de-occupation. The importance of the resolution draft devised by the U.S. Senate, developing and increasing defense, security and democratic institutions, strengthening Georgia-U.S. bilateral relations was also emphasized.

Giorgi Batramidze held meetings in the USA with Senator John McCain, Congressman Howard Berman - Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Republican Congressman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman John Tanner - President of NATO parliamentary assembly, Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson – vice President of the NATO parliamentary assembly, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy, Senator Roger Vicker, Republican congressman Ted Poe, Congress representatives Allyson Y. Schwartz, Kenneth Wollack – NDI President.

Giorgi Baramidze took part in the conference organized by Johns Hopkins University and Poland’s Economic Forum. He also delivered a speech at the German Marshal Fund.

Heir of royal family visits Georgia

The heir of the Georgian royal dynasty, Juan Bagrationi plans to make investments in Georgia. Bagrationi arrived in Tbilisi together with his friends and introduced his plans to media yesterday. In what was a private visit, Bagrationi went to the Elderly Asylum as part of his charitable activities.

Bagrationi said he wanted to know more about his historic homeland and make investments here.

`I arrived here to see my homeland, learn about its possibilities and make investments in the future too,` the prince said and added that he planned charitable activities in Georgia as well.

This is his fifth visit to Georgia. His previous visit was three years ago. (Rustavi 2)

National Cinema Center And Tourism National Agency Signed Memorandum

National Cinema Center and Tourism National Agency have signed a cooperation memorandum.

As Prime-News was informed by the Ministry of Economics and Sustainable Development, the document was being signed at the National Cinema Center yesterday.

The memorandum will be signed by the director of the Center Tamar Tatishvili and the head of the Tourism National Agency Maia Sidamonidze.

Cooperation between National Cinema Center and Tourism National Agency is aimed at the country’s popularization abroad (at cinema festivals or tourist exhibitions), attracting tourism investments to Georgia. (Prime-News)

Alcoholic Beverages Advertisement Simplified

The parliament has simplified the advertising of alcoholic beverages.

Previously, the advertising of alcoholic beverages on TV channels was forbidden before 22:00 but now such advertisements will be permitted from 20:00 onwards.

The new rule will come into effect from January 1, 2011 and will stand until 2015.

As it was stated at the Juridical committee of Parliament, the goal of the alcoholic advertisement broadcasting prohibition before 22:00 had been aimed at reducing of alcoholic beverages consumption among adolescents, but no results were achieved in this regard.

Now the goal of the new initiative, referring to the broadcasting of alcoholic beverages from 20:00, is to support businesses in this segment of market. (Prime-News)