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The News in Brief

Thursday, July 4
NGOs call on president to change the date of elections

Non-governmental organizations recommend the president change the date of the presidential elections to the weekend, arguing that holding election on a working day would be a problem for those citizens who have to go to the regions to vote, also for Georgian citizens residing abroad, for whom October 31 will not be a holiday in foreign countries.

Some political experts explain the president`s decision to hold the elections on October 31 is because Saakashvili wants to attend the Vilnius Summit as the president and that`s why he changed the date of the election from October 27 to October 31. October 31 is Thursday. (Rustavi 2)

Russia must not block OSCE decision

Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Davit Usupashvili, said "Russia must not block the right decision of OSCE with regard to restoring the OSCE monitoring mission in Georgia.” Usupashvili commented on the topic after his meeting with the OSCE President and OSCE representative in the South Caucasus. He also met with representatives of Germany and Great Britain.

"The main topic of our conversation is that Russia must not manage to block the decision of the OSCE with regard to restoring their monitoring mission in Georgia. This is a mission that doesn’t only observe the elections, but in general, it works on security issues. Today, peace in Georgia is ensured by the European Union Monitoring Mission. We see that often this is not enough, as the representatives of this mission are not able to observe the developments on the other side of the occupation line,” Davit Usupashvili said.

According to Usupashvili, the call for the restoration of the OSCE monitoring mission, as well as the necessity of speeding up the de-occupation, will be reflected in the final declaration of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. (Front News)

Gigi Ugulava says illegal detentions will be reflected in international reports

"I would like to assure the government that all illegal detentions will be reflected in all international reports," Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugulava, said at the Courtyard Marriott hotel where he is attending the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities.

"I will focus attention on the cascade of illegality, the last demonstration of which was the detention of four employees of City Hall. This was legal nonsense. I would like to assure the government that the illegal detentions will be reflected in all international reports. Moreover, we can see that an investigation is not ongoing," said the Mayor. According to him, the court uses double standards with regard to the arrests. "This is very regrettable both from the political and legal point of view," he said. (IPN)

Strong storm in Kobuleti – 2 men saved by lifeguards

Two young individuals were saved by rescuers during a four to five scale storm near the Kobuleti shoreline on July 2. The young swimmers were treated by medical personnel after they were brought ashore. A storm in the sea has damaged several cafes on Kobuleti's shoreline, with rescuers warning tourists and locals against entering the sea during bad weather. (Georgian News)

Geostat Reports 0.2% Annual Inflation in June

Georgia’s annual inflation stood at 0.2% in June after 0.1% deflation in May, this according to the state statistics office Geostat.

There inflation rate in June was 0.6%.

Prices on food and non-alcoholic beverages increased 1.8% year-on-year in June; prices for healthcare services increased 4.5% y/y and inflation for transport group rose by 4.9% y/y. (Civil.Ge)

Deputy Minister: By visiting Abkhazia French actor violates Georgia’s law

French actor Gerard Depardieu visited Abkhazia which means he violated Georgia's law on the occupied territories, Georgian Deputy State Minister for Reintegration, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili stated. "The law was violated," Tsikhelashvili told the media. "Depardieu is a Russian citizen. Perhaps he is a good actor, but I doubt that he understands these issues and the essence of the conflict." Gerard Depardieu visited Sukhumi and met with the de facto president of Abkhazia. In his comments, the actor referred to Abkhazia as being an independent country, stressing he had heard about the 20-year conflict. (Trend)

Diana Ghurtskaia’s son danced Mtiuluri on Russian show

Georgian Singer Diana Ghurtskaia was featured on the Russian television show "Let Them Talk" on July 2, with host Andrey Malakhov presenting the program dedicated to the singer's family, mother and career. The show featured footage of Ghurtskaia's duo performance alongside singer Irma Sokhadze during their childhood. Ghurtskaia was on the show alongside her spouse, brother and son Konstantin Kucherenko. The little Kosta surprised his mother on the program, dancing a Georgian "Mtiuluri" dance with Diana's nephew and godchild. (Georgian News)