The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 7
Manana Manjgaladze – Georgia Saved 70mln USD

The Georgian president’s spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze commented on the pardon of two Israeli businessmen charged with bribery of state officials. She says that the pardon overcomes a case that had been a burden for the country.

“The state had to pay 110 million USD, including fines. Saving USD 70 million proves that Georgia’s actions and steps were right”, Manana Manjgaladze said.

Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, issued a pardon on humanitarian grounds on 2 December to two Israeli businessmen Roni Fuchs and Zeev Frenkiel, who were serving a prison sentence for trying to bribe a deputy finance minister. The same day the Ministry of Justice made a statement saying that after long and intensive negotiations, on 29 November, 2011, Georgia reached a profitable agreement with the company Tramex International Inc. In other words, Georgia finalized many years of arbitration. As InterPressNews was informed by the Ministry, the dispute was about the illegal decision of the previous government of Georgia on 3 March, 1992, when the state company “Georgian Oil” signed a shackling agreement with the company Tramex International Inc representative Rony Fuchs and Ioannis Kardassopoulos.

The agreement gave Tramex International Inc exclusive rights to gas and oil infrastructure in the country. The Ministry of Justice stated that in a year, as a result of the illegal action of the previous government, the same company gained 30 years of exclusive rights on current and future oil pipelines in Georgian territories. The company didn’t pay anything in exchange for these agreements. Furthermore, the minor obligations stipulated in the agreement were not fulfilled. (Interpressnews)

Economic Minister holds meetings in Bulgaria

The Georgia-Bulgaria inter-governmental commission has been discussing a wide range of cooperation issues in economic sector in Sophia since Monday. The sides are discussing cooperation in transport, communications, and tourism, agriculture and energy sectors. It will be clarified later today on which issues the sides have already reached agreement.

Simultaneously, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Economics of Georgia Vera Kobalia held meetings with the economic sector authorities of Bulgaria and attended the Georgia-Bulgaria business forum.

`Bulgaria is one of the largest trade partners of Georgia and only in the first ten months of 2011 we had a 279 million dollar turnover. At the session of the commission we discussed cooperation in the transport sector, automobile communication improvement, more effective use of the Black Sea corridor, beginning of direct air communication and cooperation in agriculture and energy sectors,` Vera Kobalia said. (Rustavi 2)

“Progress Bank” Calls on Government to Stop Exerting Pressure on “Cartu Bank”

Kakhi Kaladze’s “Progress Bank” accuses the Georgian government of exerting pressure on “Cartu Bank”. “We have the right on behalf of the bank’s staff to call on the government to stop direct or verbal influence on the bank sector leader Cartu Bank, that is carried out by National Bank”, Progress Bank's statement reads.

The management of Progress Bank assessed that the artificial polarization of the banking sector will create negative effects on the Georgian economy and additional investments will not be made.

“Entering the bank under the pretext of checking and artificially hindering or stopping the bank’s work is not unknown to Progress Bank. The management of Progress Bank and collaborators join in the address of the management of Cartu Bank to the government of Georgia” the statement reads.

According to the statement of “Cartu Bank” released Monday, the Georgian government carried out an unprecedented punishing operation last week, by seizing 21 million GEL worth of property from four business groups in two or three days.

Cartu Bank management calls on the Georgian government to stop the punishing operations against the bank and enable it along with National Bank of Georgia to honestly serve the economics of the country and Georgian society. (Interpressnews)

Erosi Kitsmarishvili – 12,5% in Kote Gogelia’s Stake Belongs to Irakli Okruashvili

“Kote Gogelia has no separate stake, 12,5% belongs to Irakli Okruashvili”, the founder of Rustavi media management company Erosi Kitsmarishvili told journalists as part of his ongoing battle with the founders of Maestro TV one of which is Gogelia. He says he is worried about Kote Gogelia trying to use Maka Asatiani, one of the founders, while she has nothing to do with this case.

“If Maka manages to read even one passage about it in this letter, I will apologize. She doesn’t know what the issue is about. Maka Asatiani is a straw man in this, with Kote Gogelia’s stake behind it and also Irakli Okruashvili. Irakli will also have legal and grounded claims regarding Gogelia and this topic will go on and on”, Kitsmarishvili said.

He says that an accusation made by Asatiani about his misappropriation of 500,000 USD from Maestro is absurd. “I brought the budget to Maestro, which exceeds the amount mentioned in the statement, Maka Asatiani brought zero. History awaits us, it was started by Bidzina Ivanishvili with his thoughtless action. He created the mess, he is behind the processes, he caused the greed of the founders and then made them take steps that as a result turned the previously balanced television station, a symbol of objectivity and dignity into a place of confrontation, and political blackmail”, Kitsmarishvili said.

The lawyer for Studio Maestro Ltd, Dimitry Gabunia, spread a statement by Asatiani that accuses Kitsmarishvili of misappropriation of 500,000 USD. The statement reads that Kitsmarishvili has not spent anything on Maestro TV, that is why he was warned many times and the founders decided to discuss the issue in a legal forum, which took place on 11 November 2011. Kitsmarishvili was sent letters by lawyers of the founders and the TV company demanding to meet his commitments; otherwise the agreement would be abrogated after 25 days, and this expired on 5 December, 2011. (Interpressnews)