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PM Ivanishvili calls the cabinet at the State Chancellery

By Ana Robakidze
Thursday, November 29
The cabinet is working to decrease communal tariffs by at least 10%. However, it will be difficult to achieve, PM Ivanishvili told journalists after the cabinet meeting, on November 28th. Ivanishvili said, that as it appears now, reducing tariffs by 50%, is unreal, but everything possible will be done to reduce the prices on gas and electricity by a few tetri.

Ivanishvili changed his mind about the possibility of uniting the Public Broadcaster and TV9 into one media source. The fact the TV9 shares are owned the PM’s wife has caused some speculations, therefore Ivanishvili decided to create a new board to run the TV.

“TV9 will continue to broadcast the same way, as it has been broadcasting until now. However, my family members will not have any connections to it,” the PM commented.

The new cabinet discussed about 35 issues, including the new budget plan for 2013, which still has to be approved by the parliament. “140.000 GEL is the daily cost to subsidize the President,” Ivanishvili said. The funding of the presidential administration and the Tbilisi municipality will be cut, the PM confirmed once again. Cutting the funding allows the government to send more financial resources on to social projects.

Ivanishvili also commented on the recent article published in the Washington Post. The PM particularly referred to the part of the article which speaks about his future visit to the USA. “The prime minister said last week that his first official visit to the United States had been postponed; which is a good thing. As long as he is imprisoning opposition leaders and seeking to monopolize power, Georgia’s new leader should not be welcome in Washington," the article said. It is important to note however that Ivanishvili postponed an official invite from the White House because of his extremely busy schedule directly following the October 1 elections. The Washington Post has no bearing on Ivanishvili's status and/or relationship with the US administration.

Needless to say, the PM is confident the article has been “ordered” and can cause no harm to the country's international reputation, also blaming President Saakashvili’s lobbyist system to be well operating. “The ordered articles will not hinder the legislation, investments and image of Georgia. Foreigners, who have ties with Georgia, know the reality well,” Bidzina Ivanishvili said.

The cabinet decided at the meeting that the Department of Constitutional Security and Special Operative Department will be eliminated. Two new offices– the State Security and Anti-corruption agencies have already been set up on the bases of the Department of Constitutional Security. The Special Operative Department has joined the Criminal Police department, forming the Central Criminal Police department.

Nodar Khaduri, Georgia's Minister of Finance presented a new draft to the cabinet. According the draft, the President will lose the right to appoint the head of the investigative service of the Ministry of Finance. The nominee shall be presented by the Minister and appointed by the Premier Minister, Khaduri said. If the draft finally gets approved by the cabinet, it will be presented to the parliament for further procedures.

Another initiative was presented to the cabinet by Thea Tsulukiani. Accroding the draft, the candidate to take the post of the prosecutor in chief, should be presented by the Minister of Justice to the government and in case of approval, the PM will appoint him.

PM Ivanishvili also recalled the initiative and said that the prosecutor in chief will serve a five- years term and he can be dismissed only by initiating the impeachment procedures.