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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 9
Environment ministry to be reorganised

The Georgian Prime Minister reported structural changes intended for the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources to members of the Cabinet at today’s session. Nika Gilauri said the ministry would be transferred into the staff of the state minister and the Ministry of Energy will be transferred to Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources.

The PM said the reorganisation had been agreed with the ministries of economic development, environmental protection, energy and finance.

“We discussed several versions of reorganisation, which we’ll sum up soon and propose the amendments to parliament in a few days,” Gilauri said.

He stated that the functions of the environmental ministry would be divided, environmental and ecologic issues would remain the responsibility of the state ministry staff, while natural resources and license issues would be handed over to the Energy Ministry.

According to the reorganisation plan, the department of the protected areas would merge into the Ministry of Economic Development as a legal entity like the tourism department. (Rustavi 2)

Koba Subeliani’s department to move to Gori

The Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia will move to Gori.

Following yesterday’s government session, Minister Koba Subeliani told InterPressNews, “Negotiations are under way on the issue, I don’t rule anything out.” (Interpressnews)

24 hour hotel visits for prisoners

Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Khatuna Kalmakhelidze introduced draft amendments to the law on imprisonment to lawmakers today. According to the amendments, a new system of visits for prisoners will soon be introduced in the Georgian penitentiary system. Long visits will be available for prisoners with minor convictions three-four times a year. The prisoners will have to pay 60 GEL for each visit. The minister said the visits will last 24 hours. As for the infrastructure, she explained that a 3-star category hotels would be constructed, where the convicts and their guests will be served adequately, with food included in the service, and playgrounds would be arranged for children. The penitentiary hotels will also have gardens. (Rustavi 2)

Alexander Ebralidze wants Georgian Citizenship

”My key goal is to get Georgian citizenship,” said Alexander Ebralidze, a Georgian businessman living in Russia via video at a press conference held at Sheraton Metekhi Palace hotel.

This year’s winners of the literary-historical contest established by Ebralidze were announced at the Sheraton. According to him, he looks forward to doing his best for country’s welfare.

“I aim at adopting Georgian citizenship, coming to Georgia and using all my physical, material and intellectual resources for my country, my nation, our culture,” he said.

Ebralidze states hat he has no information concerning the forum-posted so called Popular Rebellion Plan.

During the skype-led video conference representatives of Tbilisi branch of Georgians’ World Congress thanked Ebralidze for the establishment and financial support of the literature award “The Builder” (Interpressnews)

Traffic Movement blocked on Nakerala Pass

Traffic movement has been blocked on the Nakerala pass due to avalanche threats, reports the Roads department.

There is no restriction for traffic movement on Gudauri-Kobi section of the highway nor in the rest of the country.

As for the electricity supply problems, “Energo-Pro Georgia” company brigades worked non-stop to repair the damaged sections of the network and hoped to resume power supply to most of the disconnected regions by end of yesterday.

212,919 consumers in regions of Georgia were left without power supply as a result of the windstorm and snow. On February 6, the windstorm damaged electricity system lines leaving people in the regions without electricity. (Prime-News)

Rescuers discover man in a landslide

Rescuers have found a man, who disappeared in the landslide in Adjara. The incident occurred in the village of Baratauli, where non-stop rains caused a landslide and damaged the Khulo-Akhaltsikhe- Keda section of the road. Rescuers were searching for Otar Tsenteradze for several hours and finally found him alive and well.

The road is still blocked towards the mountainous districts of the region due to the landslide. In addition, wind storms damaged the electricity network leaving the area without power supply.

Rains have also caused floods in Kobuleti flooding several houses in the resort while others lost their roofs in the windstorm. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian lawmakers comment on Mohamed Gamzatov’s death

Georgian lawmakers commented on the death of Mohamed Gamzatov at the session of the Diaspora Affairs Committee yesterday. The MPs say the suspicions, that Gamzatov was deliberately poisoned are quite real. Georgian MPs will send a special appeal to international organisations to express interest in the death of the scholar, who was working on the issues of Dido culture and language.

Gamzatov was found dead in his apartment three days ago. His relatives believe the scholar was poisoned,as he did not have any health problems.

Mohamed Gamzatov worked on the issues of Dido culture and language for many years. In January 2011, he visited Tbilisi and held meetings with Georgian lawmakers asking for assistance in the development of the issues of Dido culture and language and recognition of the Dido people as separate ethnos. (Rustavi 2)