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The News in Brief

Thursday, March 28
President signs constitutional amendments

The President of Georgia signed the constitutional amendments that were passed by the parliament. Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili said this means that the law will take effect. “The government will be able to work more calmly and what’s most important, nobody will ever be able to change the government that has the people’s trust in Georgia without elections,” Davit Usupashvili said. (IPN)

Police mobilized in Batumi protest

Travel was restricted on Era square in Batumi on Wednesday, where police have been mobilized. People settled in various buildings are protesting and demand assistance from the Adjarian government. The locals say that they are extremely poor and they should be a priority of the government. The protesters displayed Georgian Dream flags and banners. “We do not have electricity, water, homes or work and no assistance. The government must use the law to help us. The government elected by the people should take care of people,” the protesters said.

One of the protesters, Zhuzhuna Dumbadze, said that the government should set up a commission, which would be introduced to the socially vulnerable people’s conditions.

About 500 people are taking part in the protest. They will be evicted from the places they occupied on 1 April. (IPN)

Georgian trade circulation with EU countries down by 8 %

In January-February 2013, foreign trade turnover between Georgia and EU countries was $354 million or eight percent less compared to the same period last year, the Georgian Statistics Service told Trend on Monday.

Exports amounted to $67 million (one percent less), imports– $287 million (nine percent less).

The share of the EU countries in the total foreign trade turnover of Georgia totaled 27%, including exports – 19%, imports– 29 (figures of the corresponding period of 2012 - 28, 22 and 30%, respectively).

Some 36% of the trade deficit (in January-February 2012– 33%) accounted for the EU countries. (Trend)

Agrarian University granted authorization

The Agrarian University has been granted back its accreditation, authorization council members said at the meeting held in the Education National Center. According to the representatives of the Council, the majority of the drawbacks for which the university had been deprived of its accreditation, has already been improved. Representatives of the university took part in the meeting of the Authorization Council. They were promised that the decision on granting accreditation would take effect as soon as the decision on the suspension of accreditation is abolished. (IPN)

Salome Zourabichvili: “It is not clear where I will be needed”

The former leader of Georgia’s Way, Salome Zourabichvili, refused to confirm information that she may be a candidate of the Georgian Dream for the presidential elections. She said on Rustavi 2 that she always planned to return to politics. “When I left, I declared that it was a “time out” and I was not leaving for good. Now I’m in Georgia on another mission. Namely, the UN mission, where I have been working for 2 years,” Zourabichvili said.

When asked whether Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili proposed any position to her, she said that she met Ivanishvili every time she arrived in Georgia after 1 October and there were discussions. “We discussed my return. We spoke about everything, though not about specific positions. I’m getting ready for everything. It is not clear yet where I will be needed,” Salome Zourabichvili said. (IPN)

18 year-old detained by Russian border guards

Russian border guards detained an 18 year-old near the village of Kirbali, near the conflict zone.

InterPressNews regional correspondent informs, the 18 year-old, Ushangi Dotiashvili, was detained in the vicinity of his house. Family members inform that he was kept in the village Ghromi and then was taken to Tskhinvali. Locals are concerned. According to the current information, it was the 15th incident of a Georgian citizens’ detention by Russians over the last year. (IPN)

GIPA students send letter to Bendukidze

Students of Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) sent an open letter to Kakha Bendukidze, the chair of board of Agriculture University of Georgia discouraging him for insulting them.

In his interview with Kviris Palitra, Kakha Bendukidze said he considers the deprivation of authorization to the Agriculture University as politically step. "If GIPA deserves authorization, then all others, even both deserve it," he said in the interview.

In the response to Bendukidze, the students say: "Mr. Bendukidze, when with your statements you protect the rights of students of Agriculture University, when you promote their interests and at the same time insult GIPA and us, its students, your position becomes absolutely illogical and your sincerity falls under suspicion when you say that its only the students’ fate you care about." (Rustavi 2)

Turkish Foreign Minister Visits Georgia

Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, began his two-day visit to Georgia on March 27. On the first day of his visit, the Turkish Foreign Minister held talks with Georgian officials. On March 28, Turkish and Georgian foreign ministers will be joined by their Azerbaijani counterpart for a second trilateral foreign ministerial meeting in Batumi.

The first trilateral meeting between foreign ministers of the three countries was held in Trabzon on Turkey's Black Sea coast in June, 2012. The meeting resulted in the Trabzon Declaration, which outlined priority areas of cooperation between the three countries, ranging from mutual support in international organizations, to joint energy and transportation projects. (Civil.Ge)

Irakli Gharibashvili meets Wojciech Sawicki

Within the framework of the official visit to Strasbourg, Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, met with Wojciech Sawicki, Secretary General of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

According to the Ministry of internal Affairs of Georgia, during the meeting, Irakli Gharibashvili and Wojciech Sawicki discussed Georgia’s current political situation, reforms in the process of implementation and issues of cooperation with the Council of Europe. The minister introduced the current and implemented reforms held within the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia to the Secretary General of PACE.

They also discussed the situation in the occupied regions of Georgia in the context of human rights. (Front News)