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The News in Brief

Tuesday, June 4
Georgia hosts annual meeting of IMF, WB Dutch group member-states

The Prime Minister of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili, opened the annual meeting of the member countries of the Dutch group under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB) in Tbilisi on June 1. In his welcome speech, Ivanishvili thanked the World Bank and the IMF for the help they have given to Georgia. Ivanishvili described in detail the reforms that Georgia intends to conduct in the financial sector as well as for stimulating business in the country. The Prime Minister stressed that following the October 1 elections and the Georgian Dream's victory, business in the country has been freed of any outside pressure.

"We have big plans, as we intend to improve the economic situation of the country as well as to improve the situation of our fellow citizens. Georgia ranks the 114th in terms of the level of life, and we intend to make a breakthrough. In this regard, Georgia looks forward to the experience of our colleagues," he stressed.

European Parliament’s special delegation comes to Georgia

European Parliament’s special delegation has already arrived in Georgia.

Libor Rouchek (the Vice President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for the European Parliament) , Krzysztof Lisek (European People’s Party), Jan Kozlovsky (European People’s Party), Boris Zala (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for the European Parliament), Neyts-Uyttebroeck Annemie (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), Ryszard Czarnecki (European conservatives and Reformists Group), Lunacek Ulrike (Greens/EFA) are part of the delegation.

During the visit, the first meeting was held with representatives of civil society at the Radisson Blu Iveria. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and members of the parliamentary minority, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili, Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili, Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani and Minster of Corrections and legal Assistance Sozar Subari all attended the meeting.

The delegation of European Parliament will hold a press conference at the end of the visit. The delegation will leave Georgia on June 5.
(Front News)

Checkpoint on Georgian-Russian border switches to around-the-clock work

Starting June 1, the Upper Lars checkpoint on the Georgian-Russian border will begin operating around the clock, the special representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Vakhtang Abashidze said, stressing its importance in light of the decision on the export of Georgian products to the Russian market.

"This is the only legal land crossing point on our border with Russia as well as the shortest route for the delivery of our products, wines, mineral water and agricultural products to Russia," he said.

Abashidze also stressed that the checkpoint's non-stop operation will provide for the transit of goods from Turkey and Armenia to Russia.

"Turkey is interested in supplying large volumes of cargo to Sochi, where the construction of the facilities for the Olympic Games is underway, and the shortest way there passes through Georgia," Abashidze said.

MPs’ flights no longer funded from state budget

Tbilisi-Kutaisi flights for Georgian lawmakers will no longer be funded from the state budget - all members of the parliament and the staff will cover the cost of flights by the Georgian Airways from their own salaries. In addition, the air company has offered a 50% discount for parliament members.

The lawmakers say this is a very good offer from the company, in addition, a very effective means for saving budget funds and time, which they need to travel from the capital to Kutaisi.

“It takes a lot of time and funds to sponsor the travelling of lawmakers between Tbilisi and Kutaisi. So this can be a very good way for operate arrival to Parliament, in addition, for saving budget funds,” MP Eka Beselia from the majority has said.
(Rustavi 2)

Presidential candidate to discuss in US issues of fair elections in Georgia

The leader of the Georgian Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili, left for the United States on June 1 to pay an official visit to the U.S. as a candidate for the presidency of Georgia. "I intend to discuss with the U.S. Senators and the State Department, the issue of holding fair presidential elections in Georgia and the opportunities that the U.S. has to influence the government of Georgia in this regard," he said. During the visit, the leader of the Labour party also intends to discuss issues related to the separatist regions of Georgia.

Former defense minister refuses legal services

Former Georgian Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, left the court hearing as a sign of protest on Friday. According to lawyer Malhaz Velidzhanashvili, Akhalia acted this way because of the unlawful decisions of Judge Giorgi Darakhvelidze.

"At the last court hearing, the prosecutor's office questioned the witness, who was not included in the list," he said. "This is a great violation. Moreover, we have no opportunity to file a petition. For example, we wanted to file a petition to disqualify a judge. Initially, the judge did not provide this opportunity."

The lawyer said that Akhalaia said that he will not take part in the next processes.

"He intends to appear in the court only with the final speech because he believes the process is completely falsified," Velidzhanashvili said.

The lawyer also said that Akhalia refused legal assistance because they have no opportunity to defend him.

From now on, the state lawyer will defend Akhalia's interests in the court. This applies to the case on charges of beating servicemen and bullying them. In other cases, the lawyers will continue defending Akhalia.

Georgian wrestlers win several medals at freestyle wrestling tournament in Italy

The Georgian national team won three gold, as well as a silver and bronze medal at the Golden Grand Prix freestyle wrestling tournament in Sassari, Italy on June 2. Vladimer Khinchegashvili (55 kg category), Malkhaz Zarkua (66) and Giorgi Sakandelidze (120) earned champion titles, while David Kerashvili (96) earned a silver and Giorgi Edisherashvili (60) – competing in a higher weight category – claimed a bronze.

Khinchegashvili faced Franklin Gomez, world vice-champion from Puerto Rico, in a dramatic final. The Georgian wrestler was losing the match after Gomez took advantage of a leg lift to claim a single-point advantage, but Khinchegashvili did not let his opponent’s celebrations last long, using an outer back-heel trick that made Italian commentators exclaim “spettacolo” and “grande classe Georgiano”, winning the final 2:1.
(Georgian News TV)