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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 14
EUMM Mandate Extended for another Year

The European Union Foreign Ministers Meeting in Brussels agreed to extend the mandate of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia for a year until the 14th of September 2012. The EU will allot 23 mln euro extra for the extension.

The EUMM started its monitoring activities on 1 October 2008, beginning with monitoring the withdrawal of Russian armed forces from the areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Ever since the mission has been patrolling day and night, particularly in the areas adjacent to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian Administrative Boundary Lines. The mission’s efforts have been primarily directed at observing the situation on the ground, reporting on incidents, and, generally, through its presence in the relevant areas, contributing to improving the security situation. (Interpressnews)

President Saakashvili to deliver speech at UN General Assembly

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly, the president`s press speaker, Manana Manjgaladze, announced at a briefing held at the president`s office yesterday.

She said the president would also take part in the Eastern Partnership Summit at the end of September, which will be held in Warsaw, Poland.

The autumn features many visits of high-ranking officials to Georgia, including the President of France Nikolas Sarkozy and the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (Rustavi 2)

Minimum pension increased up to 100 GEL from Sep. 15

The minimum pension is to grow up to 100 GEL throughout Georgia. Over 670,000 pensioners in the country will take an increased pension from September 15th, the Minister of Health and Social Care Andria Urushadze and Prime Minister Nika Gilauri announced at a special briefing on September 13.

The prime minister said pensions in Tbilisi will increase by only 10 GEL as Tbilisi pensioners already received 10 GEL bonus from the Tbilisi budget so far, while in the regions, the pension will increase by 20 GEL.

In addition, each pensioner will receive social allowances, which they were taking earlier.

The government of Georgia announced the pension reform this spring and accumulated 35 million GEL for this purpose in the state budget. In addition, 13 million GEL will be allocated from the state budget to fund the pension service. (Rustavi 2)

Dismissed workers on Strike outside Factory “Herkules”

Dismissed workers are on strike outside the Kutaisi metallurgic factory Herkules. As InterPressNews states, about 100 workers are gathered near the entrance of the factory to express solidarity with 17 dismissed workers.

InterPressNews tried to contact the management of the factory, though one of the directors, Roman Lebanidze said that journalists had to warn the factory administration three days before to receive permission to enter the vicinity of the factory or receive any comment. (Interpressnews)

Bank of Georgia Refuses to Confirm Buying “Tbilisi Water”

The head of the public relations service of the Bank of Georgia, Sopo Balavadze, told InterPressNews that the Bank of Georgia cannot confirm any information about buying “Tbilisi Water”.

One of the leaders of the Free Democrats party Zurab Abashidze stated that the Bank of Georgia purchased part of the distribution of the company “Georgian Water and Power” but that this process had been secretive.

He explains that becoming owner of the distribution means that water is fully owned by the Bank of Georgia. Abashidze is interested in whether the bank's management is going to admit that the company was purchased and whether water tariffs will be changed. (Interpressnews)

New Georgian monastery to be constructed in Cyprus

In Cyprus, on the territory of the Gallia monastery, construction of Georgian monastery in the ancient Georgian architecture style is pending. By the end of the year all preparatory works will be accomplished.

The Georgian side will be granted the land on the monastery territory for construction of the Georgian monastery. The Cypriot government has agreed to 49-year ownership rights to the Georgian side for the land. The next step will be to begin construction. This will not be an easy task as the land is not even. The financing of the project will come from the joint efforts of the Georgian public and business circles and diaspora. (GHN)

John Malkovich arrives in Georgia for TIFT

Hollywood movie star John Malkovich arrived in Tbilisi yesterday to take part in the Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre [TIFT}. Malkovich will play the role in a production called Hell Comedy or the Confessions of a Serial Killer with musical accompaniment provided by the Vienna Academy Orchestra.

The Vienna Orchestra, consisting of 34 musicians, is already in Tbilisi. The 25-day international festival will begin in the Rustaveli Theatre today. (Rustavi 2)