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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 1
Two arrested for robbing markets in Tbilisi

Police have arrested an organized crime gang accused of robbing markets in Tbilisi. Giorgi Papukashvili and Irakli Esebua have admitted to the crime and described in detail the scheme they used for the robbery. The two were robbing shops in Georgia during the past few months, threatening salespersons with pistols and hunting guns.

An official investigation is underway. (Rustavi 2)

Summer season ends

Maia Sidamonidze the Head of Georgian National Tourism Agency has summarized the tourist situation in Georgia for the last 7 months. According to her information the number of tourists visiting Georgia has been around 1.5 million in total. “The number of foreigners has increased by 45% during January-July including those from new countries,” Sidamonidze said on August 31. Sharing the Governmental strategy for 2011 the GNTA Head explained that the number of tourists should reach 3 million by the end of the year. According to the figures they have today Sidamonidze hoped that the Governmental forecast would be thoroughly matched. “Interest towards the regions varies according to the seasons,” she explained pointing out that Adjara sea side had been the most popular destination for tourists in summer. “But European tourists also prefer going to mountains as well,” Sidamonidze stated. (The Messenger)

Free Democrats object to communal tax

Our Georgia - Free Democrats opposition party objects to a combined form of electricity and municipal cleaning service tariffs, according to which each subscriber has to pay 0, 05 GEL for cleaning services per every kilowatt of electricity consumed. The opposition party member Zurab Abashidze briefed at the City Hall yesterday asserting that the combined tariff was unfair and must be nullified. `In winter, every citizen will have to pay six or even ten times as much for cleaning services than they were paying before, because the consumption of the electricity in this period is increasing. This is an unfair, illegal and unintelligible tariff, which will damage our citizens,` Zurab Abashidze said. The representative of Tbilisi City Hall has downplayed the assertions of the opposition party member. Koki Ionatamishvili, who chairs the Economic Development and International Relations committee of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo, says this form of payment will be a relief for the socially vulnerable citizens of Tbilisi, as they have privileges. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia conducts negotiations for inclusion in routs of travel companies

Georgia is in negotiations to be added to the cruise routes of several companies. The Tourism Agency head Maia Sidamonidze said to GHN that the process might take five years.

"In fact such routes are prepared by the cruise companies 5 years in advance. We started to work actively with these companies and we are trying to get in touch with them while different exhibitions are held to introduce them with the possibilities in Georgia," - head of the Tourism Agency said to GHN.

Maia Sidamonidze added also that this time Georgia is included only in those cruise routs which are operating in the Black sea countries.

To be noted, this year less cruise ships will enter Georgia than it was last year. During 2011 in Adjara 8 cruise ships were expected to enter, out of them 5 cruise ships have already entered Adjara coast. One of them will enter Adjara in September. For information in March the Adjara government official delegation visited USA for attending the infrastructure exhibition "SEATRADE MIAMI -2011". (GHN)

Sakpatenti objects to decision of puppet regime

The representatives of the Abkhazian puppet regime have begun to issue trademarks and register official protecting documents on goods of the so-called Abkhazian Republic. Georgian patenting body, Sakpatenti has already objected to the decision of the puppet regime officially. The official statement says the documents issued by the department of the intellectual property of the Standards and Certification Body of the so-called Abkhazian government have no legal power and they contradict to Georgian legislation. (Rustavi 2)

Tens of people infected with E.Coli in Georgia

Tens of people have been infected with E.Coli bacteria in Georgia, GHN reports. The National Disease Control Center reports at the same time that in Georgia it was not fixed bacteria which caused death of people in Europe. As a preventive measure doctors advise to be cautious and to make a thermal processing of the food. Across Europe 22 people have died as a result of this infection. (GHN)