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The News in Brief

Friday, July 8
Ilia the Second – main responsibility lies with President

The Patriarch of Georgia, Ilia the Second, calls on the President of Georgia to use his power to veto a law regarding status of religious unities, even though the president signed the bill into law on 5 July.

As Ilia the Second said after delivering a service for the birth of John the Baptist yesterday, it will be better if the President cancels the law until everything is checked and cleared.

“The main responsibility lies with the President and I want our president and the country to be calm. I hope everything will be well”, Patriarch said.

Ilia the Second says that the law adopted by parliament regarding religious status is so important and dangerous that law makers had to think about the results it will have after 10 or even 100 years.

“It’s not our position that denominations must not be given a status of religion. Our position is that we must discuss it with scientists, spirituals and specialists. Unfortunately, the law makers hastily adopted the law in just one day”, Patriarch stated.

Ilia the Second said that there were nothing against Armenians in his words and despite various discussions, Georgians and Armenians have always been brothers and will remain so.

“When Armenians were in hardship, we always helped and they also helped us when we were in need. This law is so difficult and responsible that it may be misused. They had to consider everything. When they question why the church interfered in the state’s business, I want to tell you that this doesn’t concern only the state, this issue touches the whole nation, church and especially the state”, Ilia the Second declared.

The Patriarch said that various opinions in society regarding the issue will strain relations between the religions, which is unacceptable.

“Georgian people have always been protectors of minor nations, has always defended Armenian, Russian, Azerbaijani and Israeli people. Israeli people themselves say that Georgia is the only country where anti Semitism has never taken place”, Ilia the Second said.

The Patriarch remembered the period of the Soviet Union, when Russian Jews arrived to meet him. The Patriarch says that they complained about anti-Semitism demonstrations in Moscow.

“I told them then that if they were to be threatened, they could arrive in Georgia. Thank God they will never be threatened in Georgia regarding this issue”, Ilia the Second said.

The Patriarch wished Georgia unification and necessity to search for truth and rightness. (Interpressnews)

Georgian reforms in focus of Egyptian media

Georgian reforms are still in the focus of the post-revolutionary media of Egypt. Yet another TV story was aired in the leading show The Final Word broadcast on the leading television channel ON TV, where the authors invited a journalist, who was in Georgia on May 26-28, 2011. The popular reporter Norah Junis emphasized the reforms, which were implemented in Georgia since the Rose Revolution, 2003. The journalist drew parallels with the political processes that are underway in Egypt and said it would be acceptable if Egypt`s leadership mirrored Georgian reforms in the penitentiary and the police structures as an example.

`Georgian police was part of the mafia and organized crime having direct ties with the criminal world. The greatest problem for Georgians was the road police, which used to extort money not only from drivers, but from passers-by too. It should be noted that the Rose Revolution occurred not only against police or any specific body, but against the regime rooted deeply. Georgians are not aliens, therefore even they did not believe in the success of the reforms, but after they were implemented, the people of the country demonstrated support to the government and it became popular. The reforms in this country were revolutionary indeed. The young government, president, PM; deputy interior minister was 27 then and he was not the graduate of the police academy. I talked with the opposition in Georgia too and I had an impression that even they hailed the implemented reforms. Everybody feels that police have changed and nobody denies the fundamental reform of the staff was implemented successfully. The President`s opposition accuses him of excessive use of force, but everybody agrees around one thing – that the methods of police activities have changed and people feel their rights are respected and that the police is the protector of law,` the journalist said. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian Party leaders met with Diplomats

The leader of the Georgian Party met with the representatives of Diplomatic Corps in Georgia and reported the information about the detention of their party members.

`We want to inform the diplomats about the political oppression of our party members, their relatives, acquaintances or even about the persons, who have no links with the party. We mean unlawful detentions, torture and fabricated allegations,` Sozar Subari said.

To report detailed information to international society, Sozar Subari plans to leave for Brussels and Strasbourg and meet with the former chief of the European Union`s Motoring Mission in Georgia Mr. Thomas Hammarberg.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili of the party said the goal of such meetings is to better inform the international society about political situation in Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Education Minister visits Poland

Georgian students will be able to continue studies at Europe`s leading universities - the decision was taken at the international conference held in Warsaw, in which the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Dimitri Shashkini has been participating.

On the grounds of the aforementioned agreement, Georgian universities will be able to launch students` exchange programs, attract grants and sponsor the education of Georgian students abroad with a limit of 11 million EURO.

The project is also expected to increase the number of foreign students in Georgia. Currently, over 2,000 students from various countries study at Georgian universities. (Rustavi 2)