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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 22
Mikheil Saakashvili to hold several important meetings during his visit to Strasbourg

President Mikheil Saakashvili will hold several important meetings during his visit to Strasbourg. Apart from delivering a speech at the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly winter session, the president will hold face-to-face meetings with Parliamentary Assembly President Jean-Claude Mignon, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks and PACE Secretary General Torbion Jagland. Meetings are also scheduled in the European Court of Human Rights. During his visit to Strasbourg the President will participate in various cultural activities as well.
(The Messenger)

Prime Minister to participate in Davos Economic Forum

Prime Minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili, will hold meetings with politicians and potential investors at the Davos Economic Forum where Ivanishvili is expected to meet with the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon. He will be accompanied by the ministers of foreign affairs and economic development. Foreign Minsiter Maia Panjikidze announced before the beginning of the session of the cabinet Sunday that no meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev was on the agenda, moreover, the issue was not even considered.

Economic Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said both informal and official bilateral meetings will be held with potential investors, to attract new investments to the Investment Foundation, which was announced by the government of Georgia.

"We will present our visions of the government, our plans and what directions we are going to move towards for the development of our economies," Kvirikashvili said.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian chief sanitarian to meet Georgian businessmen

Russia's chief sanitarian Genady Onishchenko voiced a possible date of the meetings with the Georgian delegation, which will discuss the return of Georgian wine and mineral water products to the Russian market. Genady Onishchenko told the RIA Novosty news agency that the meetings would take place by the end of January or in the first days of February 2013.

He said via personal contacts that he has received the list of the Georgian delegation and is prepared to host them on January 28 or February 4. Onishchenko said the readiness of the Georgian side to participate in these negotiations reflected the serious plans of the country`s government in relations with Russia.
(Rustavi 2)

IDPs to get privatized rooms for a symbolic price

Minister of IDPs Davit Darakhvelidze announced after the session of the government yesterday that IDP families will have their apartments legalized for the symbolic price of 1 GEL. The minister explained that the IDPs will take rooms in various regions of Georgia.

"The Georgian government has taken a decision to hand over apartments to over 300 IDP families in the various regions of Georgia. This process continues and in approximately one month, the same number of families, maybe even more, will have their apartments legalized," Darakhvelidze said and stated that the old buildings where the IDPs currently reside would be rehabilitated and the construction of new apartments would also begin.
(Rustavi 2)

Venice Commission representatives to visit Georgia

On January 30, representatives of the Venice Commission will visit Georgia, Kote Kublashvili, the Chairman of the Supreme Court said after a meeting on constitutional changes at the Radisson Hotel. He said that the representatives of the Venice Commission would meet all branches of the government, including the Supreme Court. "We will express our position on the constitutional amendments with the representatives of the Venice Commission once again and explain our position very clearly and I hope that they will agree with us," Kublashvili stated.

Georgian government will pay off debts for Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s family - Nodar Khaduri

The Georgian government will pay off debts for Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s family, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri said. The Parliament of Georgia adopted a law on the social insurance of Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s family in 2002. According to Khaduri, the social insurance included expenses of guard, telephone and all other communal services. The expenses were put in the 2003 budget that was 130,000 GEL. "There was a financial crisis and the government could not fulfill its obligation in 2003. Gamsakhurdia's wife, Manana Archvadze, appealed to the Finance Ministry in December 2012 and demanded an allotment of 130 000 GEL to the family. We have discussed the issue and decided to fulfill this obligation of the government of Georgia," Nodar Khaduri said.

Tiflis journal to be issued in Moscow

A new journal called Tiflis will be issued in the Russian capital of Moscow from February or March, 2013, RIA Novosti reported on January 17th. Based on information provided by Chair of DoMira publishing house Sergey Skosyrev, the Tiflis journal will be fully dedicated to the Georgian capital Tbilisi, its culture and people.

Skosyrev said that Russian writer and journalist Igor Obolensky may become the editor-in-chief of the journal as negotiations are underway. He said the journal will be supported by Georgians living in Moscow.

Meanwhile Obolensky said the first issue of Tiflis will be dedicated to Georgian Patriarch Ilia II and his anniversary.
(The Messenger)

Azerbaijan's Pasha Bank Enters Georgia

Georgia’s central bank said it had issued a license to Pasha Bank, one of the leading corporate banks in Azerbaijan, allowing the latter to launch operation in Georgia. Its Georgian branch will be Pasha Bank’s first foreign subsidiary. Pasha Bank will be the third Azerbaijani bank to operate on the Georgian market; two others are the local branches of the Caucasus Development Bank and the majority state-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan.