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The News in Brief

Tuesday, February 8
Baindurashvili Optimistic for 2011

Batumi Sheraton Hotel hosted a meeting yesterday between the Georgian Government and the Georgian Business Association aimed at deepening cooperation between the two sectors. Development of the legal framework regulating the business environment, improvement of tax administration and fiscal policy as well as the realisation of the main macroeconomic aspects and challenges were discussed at the meeting. The Minister of Finance (MOF) Kakha Baindurashvili presented the report on the financial situation within the country to the businessmen/women highlighting developments in the local economy.

Account of the minister’s speech will be published in the next issue of the Messenger.
(The Messenger)

Rugby: Georgia Beats Ukraine

The Georgian rugby team had a resounding 48 : 3 victory over Ukraine at the weekend. At half time Georgia had a commanding 24 : 0 lead. This was the first match of the 2011 Rugby European Nations Cup.

Georgia 12th as per Number of Prisoners

Georgia is 12th in the world in terms of number of prisoners, according to the report World Prison Population List which includes data from 217 countries. The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, followed by China and Russia. Since prison population rates (per 100,000 of the national population) are based on estimates of the national population they should not be regarded as precise, states the World Prison Population List report. The list shows that there are more prisoners in developing countries than in developed ones.

Turkish Foreign Minister to visit Georgia

The Turkish Foreign Minister will pay a two-day visit to Georgia on 11 February, Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Jalaghania announced during yesterday’s briefing.

“During the visit the issue of Georgian monuments on Turkish territories may be discussed, however no signing of a memorandum is planned in this regard,” Jalaghania said.

The Turkish Foreign Minister will hold meetings in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and in Batumi, Adjara region.

Vashadze to visit Romania

“Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze will pay an official visit to Romania on February 10-11,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia David Jalagania stated at yesterday’s briefing.

According to Jalagania Vashadze will hold meetings with his Romanian counterpart and other officials during the visit.

“Romania is our friend and supporter, and during the visit topical issues of bilateral relations between Georgia and Romania will be discussed,” Jalagania added.

Last week the Georgian foreign minister visited Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland.

Grigol Vashadze paid an official visit to Romania as Foreign Minister in June 2009.

Deputy Foreign Minister meets Iranian Ambassador

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Sergei Kapanadze has received the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Georgia, Majid Samadzade Saber.

During the meeting further prospects of developing political, economic, cultural and scientific cooperation between Georgia and the Islamic Republic of Iran were discussed.

The sides underlined that the efforts, directed towards establishing closer and more fruitful cooperation between the two countries would continue both on a bilateral and at an international level during the current year.
(Rustavi 2)

200 homes flooded in Tskaltubo

Heavy snow and non-stop rain have caused a flood in the town of Tskaltubo in Georgia’s Imereti region.

As a result of continual rains the Oghaskura River overflowed completely flooding the basements and ground floors of homes of more than 200 families in Zeda Maghlaki village. Rescue brigades have been sent to help the region’s residents.

A special commission has been set up to assess the damage and allocate compensation for the families affected by the natural disaster.

Snowstorm blocks Gudauri-Kobi highway

Gudauri-Kobi and the Goderdzi Pass sections have been blocked because of asnowstorm, Deputy Chairman of the Roads Department Nugzar Gasviani told InterPressNews. The traffic has been able to move freely on Tbilisi-Kutaisi highway thanks to the efforts of technical brigades. Only trailer vehicles are banned on Rikoti Pass. According to Gasviani, the Ambrolauri highway has been blocked in the direction of the Nakerala Pass. Technical brigades have been clearing the roads.

Drop in ’flu patients

According to the National Centre for Disease Control, the number of patients visiting a doctor with symptoms of various viral infections has fallen significantly during the past few days.

Official data from the centre reports 285 registered cases of the H1N1 virus, 39 cases with virus of type B and 7 with virus of type A. All the lethal cases were the result of a delay in seeking medical help.

According to the Centre, 13 people have died from influenza this season, 8 of whom died from the H1N1 virus, 3 from the B type virus and 2 from the A type virus.