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The News in Brief

Tuesday, June 14
Yulia Latinina - Saakashvili Prayed Before Meeting Putin

The relationship with Russia was so important to President Saakashvili that he even prayed before meeting with Putin, Yulia Latinina writes.

“Novaia Gazeta” has published her letter “Georgia: War and Reform”. The Russian journalist remembers that Saakashvili planned his first official visit to Moscow after being elected as president.

“The relationship with Russia was so important to Saakashvili that he prayed before meeting with Putin. The meeting ended perfectly. Putin requested: “You have an excellent state security minister - Khaburdzania. Don’t change him”. Saakashvili returned from Moscow and dismissed Khaburdzania only because he did not fit in with the new conception of Georgia. But the Kremlin got furious: “he dismissed our friend – it means he is our enemy”, the former president’s advisor Andrey Ilarionov says that after Khaburdzania, the first clandestine order to fight against Georgia was signed. In May, the dismissal of Aslan Abashidze, dictator of Adjara, who was close to Moscow poured oil on the fire, the Kremlin thought.

40 000 Subscribers Didn’t Receive Vouchers in Georgia

40,000 subscribers did not receive the electricity and food vouchers in Georgia, InterPressNews was told by the Deputy Director of Social Services Agency Davit Dvalidze.

He says that in some cases it was caused by the non-existence of individual meters while some subscribers were not registered. The subscribers who did not receive vouchers will get them after June 20. People will be able to cash the vouchers until the end of August.

Deputy Director of the Social Services Agency reports that 1.2 million families throughout Georgia received 20 GEL electricity and 30 GEL food vouchers.

According to the President’s decision, the process of delivering 20 GEL electricity vouchers started on February 10. Later, it was decided to deliver 30 GEL food vouchers as well.

Petre Tsiskarishvili - Alarm over MediaPalitra is Incomprehensible

The leader of the parliamentary majority Petre Tsiskarishvili considers the panic over MediaPalitra to be incomprehensible.

Tsiskarishvili responded to the leader of Parliamentary minority Giorgi Targamadze at the parliamentary bureau sitting yesterday, and spoke about situation in MediaPalitra and expressed hope that the governmental representatives would not be confined to only making announcements and the process would lead to a logical end.

Petre Tsiskarishvili does not understand why the issue of MediaPalitra was even being discussed at the bureau sitting, though he commented as the issues were raised.

He said that the publishing house of the business is being checked and not the radio or newspaper of the media house. Tsiskarishvili noted that the attitude of the government and the state to the media business is obvious. Tsiskarishvili gave the example that the state had donated GEL35 Million to television.

Tsiskarishvili says that nobody is under psychological pressure in MediaPalitra, as this was a planned audit taking place there. He mentioned that several tens of publishing houses have been checked in the last 5 years and none of them have immunity.

“Let’s wait for the results. The management declares that they are ready to cooperate with the tax bodies. I’m sure everything will be fair. There is no need for alarm, especially when the media business works as usual and there has not been any hindrance in the work”, Petre Tsiskarishvili said.

Two arrested for offering bribe

The Constitutional Security Department has arrested the founders of the Caucasian Academic Centre LTD [CAC] for offering a bribe to Education Ministry officials. Davit Tsetskhladze and Nikoloz Bakarashvili offered a USD 50 000 bribe to the official of the ministry in return for an approval license to the books they were importing from abroad. Both were caught red-handed when handing over the bribe. The investigation has found that the CEC founders purchased the text-books of English language for GBP 500 000 abroad and tried to make them obligatory for Georgian public schools. In addition, the detainees offered 33% of the profit, in case the text-books were approved and sold at schools.

The detainees may face up to eight years in prison if found guilty.
(Rustavi 2)

Children of the House of Future visited Kakheti

A charitable trip was organized for the children of an orphanage the House of the Future by the President`s Administration. The children enjoyed side-shows and visited the Bodbe Monastery. They were also taken to Sighnaghi, where they visited the Historic Ethnographic Museum; most of them were seeing Sighnaghi, Kakheti Region, for the first time.

The President`s administration has been supporting the House of the Future for the past two months and similar activities are scheduled in the future.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian racers return from Ukraine with first prize

Georgian racers have returned with first prize from Ukraine, where the European and International Rally Tournament was being held. The most prestigious tournament in rally was held in the city of Yalta, in which the crews from 102 countries participated. The crews drove front-wheel vehicles with 2.0 engines and Georgian racers, Archil Bidzinashvili and Goga Arjevanidze won the tournament. Two other Georgians, Mevlud Meladze and Sandro Lomadze took the fifth place in the tournament of four-wheel turbo engine vehicles.
(Rustavi 2)