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Compiled by Lera Khubunaia
Wednesday, March 14
Priest: Whoever dislikes President is "a devil"

"Whoever does not love our President is a devil," a Shavnabadi Archimandrite priest proclaimed in a sermon, according to Rezonansi.

The priest, Shio Gabrichidze, told those in his congregation who do not support President Mikheil Saakashvili not to return. "I do not want to see any devils during my next sermon," he said. He also told Georgians that they must die in the name of their country, and in the name of their President.

"I do not want to see any devils at the next sermon. Whoever does not love the President is a devil. I pronounce and draw a cross over them in order to rehabilitate them, to abandon their crazy actions. He who was signed as a leader by your God is the one who takes care of you. Whoever disobeys their father in Israel is sentenced to death," he proclaimed.

Gabrichidze's statements were shared on Facebook. Father Mikhael Botkoveli, the Patriarch's secretary, stated that similar pronouncements have been made in the past, and are unacceptable. These sermons harm the name of the monastery, he said, noting that the priest had received a warning.

"He received a warning, but he still remains a priest of the monastery," Botkoveli said. "Currently, the monastery is under the supervision of the Catholicos-Patriarch episcope, Martqopi episcope, and Father Iacob." He also confirmed that Gabrichidze has been an archpriest at the Shavnabadi monastery for approximately two years.

"I am not a head-priest and to [respond] is beyond my competences. The only thing I can do is to tell the Patriarch that one of the members of the monastery said certain inappropriate things," he admitted. "I called Father Iacob, and asked him about the incident and he responded that it is an old story and will not happen again."

For his actions, Gabrichidze was called to the Patriarchy, received a warning and underwent a consultation. As a rule, clergy members are advised to decline from participating in politics.

City Hall booths project has unintended side effect

Tbilisi City Hall's "1000 Booths" project has had a negative impact on some small businesses, Rezonansi reports.

According to those shop owners whose businesses are located close to the newly-opened glass booth enterprises, demand for those items also sold in the booths has decreased significantly.

Tbilisi City Hall began the 1000 Booths project at the end of 2011, in order to give street vendors permanent commercial space. At the time, Mayor Gigi Ugulava noted that it is very important for the City to help decrease the unemployment rate and aid small business owners.

According to City Hall, there have been 18 auctions of 900 lots so far, of which 244 lots have been sold. Auction on the remainder of the lots will take place through March 20.