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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 1
Support for Closure of the Georgian-Russian Dossier

The Georgian Foreign Ministry welcomes the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on closing the Georgian-Russian dossier, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze at yesterday’s press briefing.

Last week the monitoring committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) decided not to appoint special rapporteurs on the Russian-Georgian conflict any longer and the issue will be discussed within the framework of countries’ reports.

“PACE shares the Georgia’s arguments,” Kalandadze said, also commenting, “We welcome all PACE resolutions, including direct appeals to Russia on the implementation of its commitments.”

“PACE unambiguously and clearly expressed its attitude on this issue (due to the results of the 2008 war and the actions of Russia) and we thought of the necessity of appropriate additional format,” Nino Kalandadze reported.

Since August 2008 relations between Russia and Georgia were discussed at almost every PACE session and during the 2 years “the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia” have been considered 5 times. The first discussion was held in October 2008 when PACE asked Moscow to cancel its recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The last discussion regarding Russian-Georgian relations was held during the meeting of the Assembly in April 2010. During the two-year debates a proposal of radical members of parliament to deprive the Russian delegation of voting rights has been raised twice.

Saakashvili to attend Security Issues conference

Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze announced yesterday that President Mikheil Saakashvili will visit Munich at the end of this week to attend a conference on security issues.

“The President received an invitation to attend the Munich conference on security issues and presumably at the end of the week, the Georgian delegation, headed by the President, will visit Germany for the conference,” she stated.

According to Kalandadze, bilateral meetings will be conducted during the forty-eighth Munich conference on security issues, which will be held in Germany 4-6 February.

According to the foreign media more than 300 politicians, representatives of law enforcement and military structures worldwide will gather in Germany to discuss security issues and policy.

The main rapporteurs of the conference will be the German chancellor, Russia’s foreign minister, the British Prime Minister and the head of the Council of Europe.

New Rights’ plan for overcoming inflation

The political party New Rights have presented a plan to the government for overcoming inflation in the country. At a meeting of economic experts and analysts Davit Gamkrelidze, the party leader said, “We expected that the government would suggest to the people some plan for overcoming inflation. This has not happened. The problem needs an immediate decision. But this should happen under the initiative of the government. In view of the increase in the budget deficit we think it necessary to again discuss the 2011 budget expenditure in Parliament. A considerable decrease in expenditure would allow us the possibility of reducing some taxes such as VAT. In addition the government should remove the restrictions at Customs for the import of food products and other necessities to avoid the artificial monopoly.”

Businessmen are afraid of the recent legislative changes and the punishment by imprisonment for economic violations. Such amendments should be annulled to give businesses life. Also, for the promotion of agricultural enterprise and its stimulation investment in this area should be free from all kinds of taxes for 5 years.

A round table “Inflation in Georgia - the scale of the problem, possible perspectives of event development and recommendations for the government” will take place at the Holiday Inn

64-year-old IDP sent to jail for 35 GEL crime

A court has sentenced 64-year-old IDP Valerian Chilashvili to one-year imprisonment for stealing planks worth 35 GEL.

A representative of the Young Lawyers’ Association says the action, which formally includes a minor crime that does not damage anyone/anything, is not a crime. Thus, according to the Young Lawyers’ Association there was no need to prosecute Valerian Chilashvili.

‘Unfortunately, the above-mentioned case includes procedural violations, displaying an extremely strict and intolerant criminal policy,’ the Association representative said.

Atypical pneumonia on the rise

The number of patients in the Tbilisi Clinic of Infection Diseases is increasing. Over the past week over 450 people have visited the hospital with symptoms of serious respiratory infections, 57 of whom remain at the clinic under doctors’ observation. Laboratory analysis has confirmed H1N1 flu for 14 of the patients. The condition of six of them is very serious and they are connected to the respirator, report the doctors.

Experts have ruled out any danger of an epidemic. They say the number of atypical pneumonia infections is ten times lower than last year.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian basketball team to meet Russia

The Georgian national basketball team will play against Russia in the finals of the European Championship - the rivals have been named following the qualification draw for the European Championship held in Lithuania. Other teams in group D with Georgia are Belgium, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Russia.

Georgia will play its first match on August 31 and will have to play the second match against Russia.
(Rustavi 2)