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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 8
Philip Dimitrov – Road to EU is Difficult

Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia Philip Dimitrov gave a speech at the National Library at the opening of Europe Week. He said that the route to the EU is not easy. He also stated that when his colleagues visit Tbilisi, they say that Tbilisi is a European city. “More European than some EU member states,” Dimitrov said. The EU ambassador says that events like Europe Week are held in other countries as well.

The opening of Europe Week will last till May 11, and the winners of the contests in essays, photos and paintings will be awarded by Philip Dimitrov, the State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alexi Petriashvili and Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Davit Zurabishvili. (IPN)

Mikheil Saakashvili meets Ilham Aliyev

Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili met with the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku. Saakashvili’s Facebook page informs that the two presidents discussed relations between the countries and future cooperation.

Saakashvili and Aliyev underscored the projects that Georgia and Azerbaijan undertake together. Namely, the presidents spoke about the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway construction, and said that this railway has crucial importance for both countries. They explained that Georgia and Azerbaijan will be connected to Europe by this route, which has strategic importance geopolitically and is one of the guarantees of regional stability and security. (IPN)

Georgian Interior Minister visits Israel

Georgian Interior Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, has left for an official visit to Israel, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.

During the visitm, Garibashvili met his Israeli counterpart Gideon Sa'ar; Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Communications Minister, Gilad Erdan, as well as other officials, according to the Georgian Interior Ministry. (Civil.Ge)

Davit Zalkaliani visits U.S.

The First Deputy Minister of Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaliani, is in the U.S. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs that the visit started on May 1 and it aimed at discussing topical issues of cooperation for Georgia in the framework of the UN with representatives of UN and a number of states. Aside from meeting with high level UN officials, Davit Zalkaliani also held nearly 50 bilateral meetings with representatives of partner states where the parties discussed topical issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. (IPN)

Opposition MP summons Finance Minister to parliament

Member of the parliament from the United National Movement, Zurab Japaridze, summoned Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri to parliament to provide explanations regarding the economic situation in the country. The opposition MP says the data on economic growth in the country released by the national bureau of statistics does not match with the one reported by the minister. Japaridze focused on the data of economic parameters in the first quarter of 2013, saying that economic growth had significantly slowed down. (Rustavi 2)

Former mayor wants to return to politics

Former mayor of Tbilisi Niko Lekishvili plans to return to politics. Lekishvili says he is prepared to become a member of the Tbilisi self-government Sakrebulo, if the members of the assembly are elective. He thinks the principle of electing Sakrebulo should be changed and its members should not be elected via party lists, but via direct elections.

`The members of the assembly must have public legitimacy and not a party one. Of course a political party may nominate candidates, but they should be elected by voters. If I enter the Sakrebulo, I will manage to father allies for the interests of Tbilisi,` Niko Lekishvili told Rustavi2. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian PM unhappy with the slow pace of enterprises construction in regions

Georgia's Prime Minister is unhappy with the slow pace of enterprise construction in the regions. Bidzina Ivanishvili stated in an interview with Guria News that there was a plan to build 60 companies in Georgia, one in each region.

"Maybe we will implement the plan, but the process has been slow so far. Perhaps there are more objective reasons than subjective ones. It's difficult now to do an analysis. The team knew that an investigation is underway and shifted all attention to this. Naturally, I did not interfere and do not intend to interfere in the investigation. To be honest, I'm a little upset," Ivanishvili said.

According to him, the minister himself wanted to stop the process, arguing that there were problems. "I told him the process is normal. If investigators have questions, they should be answered. It's ok, it's the beginning. As a result, a lot of work will be done and a lot has been already done. Quietly we will fix the faults," said the Prime Minister. (Trend)

Some universities call on president to veto draft amendments

Rectors from Ilia State University and Tbilisi State University object to the legislative amendments to the civil code and call on the president to veto the draft law. Gigi Tevzadze briefed the media in this regard and defined the reason of their protest. He says the autonomy of the universities would be breached if those amendments were enforced.

The draft law, which caused a protest from some universities, will become public legal figures instead of private legal entities, which, as the rectors say, makes the universities subordinate to the government. (Rustavi 2)