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The News in Brief

Friday, September 13
Visegrad Group members outraged by Russia’s pressure on Eastern Partnership countries

A meeting between representatives of the Visegrad Group and Georgia has officially concluded. At the final part of the meeting, participants expressed their indignation at Russia's increased pressure on Eastern Partnership countries and noted that the EU should take every effort to neutralize this pressure. The Visegrad Group consists of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The Visegrad Group thinks the EU should also increase financing for Eastern Partnership countries and make a maximum effort to bring those countries within the fold of the European Union. The Visegrad Group mentioned that Georgia has taken every effort to integrate with the European Union and all four member states support Georgia's eventual accession to the EU. (Trend)

Kutaisi mayor`s post is vacant

Kutaisi Mayor Dimitri Kopaliani has resigned. Reportedly, he announced his resignation immediately after returning from holiday. The Kutaisi city assembly selected Kopaliani as Kutaisi mayor on July 5th. Kopaliani was the tenth mayor of the city since the Rose Revolution.

The city assembly is currently choosing a temporary mayor until a permanent mayor is elected. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian government tells Muslims to obtain a construction permit

Georgian government has called on Muslims in the village of Chela in southern Georgia to obtain a construction permit before building a minaret on their mosque.

On August 26th, local authorities dismantled a newly constructed minaret at Chela's mosque. The dismantling was met with serious protests by local Muslims.

The Revenue Service of the Georgian Finance Ministry has announced that when the minaret was brought from Turkey to Georgia in July, the minaret's value was incorrectly given on the customs declaration form and therefore the government had the right to take down the minaret.

According to the Georgian government, the construction of the minaret was in violation of the law. "Due to the fact that we wish to assist people in the implementation of their religious rights, we call on the Muslim Ummah to apply to the appropriate state agencies to seek legal construction of the minaret." a government statement reads. (Trend)

President of the National Bank of Georgian to attend central bank heads' meeting

Giorgi Kadagidze, President of the National Bank of Georgia, will attend the 30th meeting of the Central Bank Governors' Club of Central Asia, the Black Sea Region and the Balkans which will be held on September 12-14 in Armenia.

The main topic of the meeting is "Post-crisis lessons: new approaches and ways of overcoming future challenges".

Participants will discuss a new global regulating structure, the prospects of the world economy and new financial markets, as well as challenges of the dollar economy.

Within the visit, Giorgi Kadagidze will hold bilateral meetings with central bank heads from Ukraine, Moldavia, Kazakhstan and other countries. (Trend)

Batumi hosts meeting within Eastern Partnership

On September 12-13 Batumi is hosting a meeting of Eastern Partnership countries titled "Self-employment and entrepreneurship."

The meeting is being organized by the European Commission, the European Education Fund and Georgia's Ministry of the Economy with the support of Georgia's State Ministry for European Integration.

Representatives of the European Education Fund, EU countries and Eastern Partnership countries will participate in the meeting. The Eastern Partnership is a venue of discussion between the European Union and the countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The aim of the working meeting is to have an exchange of experience on the issues of self-employment and business development, to strengthen cooperation between educational institutions and business advisory organizations and to become familiar with modern attitudes adopted in EU countries. (Trend)

Agricultural loan program in Georgia

Georgian farmers have received 95 million lari's worth of loans as part of a preferential agricultural loan program, Georgian Minister of Agriculture Shalva Pipia said at a press conference on Wednesday.

According to Pipia, as of September 11th, around 5,400 agricultural loans had been given to Georgian farmers. Pipia said that it is very important that a total of 205 loans were delivered during the third phase of the program.

"These are loans for financing long-term infrastructure projects for a period of seven years at under three per cent per annum...Around 205 loans were delivered during this stage, of which 49 were for new enterprises such as modern livestock farms, poultry farms, wineries, dairies, etc. This is a very important project and it works well. The loans were given in all regions of the country." Pipia said. (Trend)

Georgian President awards mothers of the country’s fallen heroes

On Wednesday, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili awarded the mothers of the country's fallen heroes with the Order of Queen Tamar.

During the awarding ceremony, Saakashvili stated that "This order is meant for exceptional mothers. Looking at you, I understand that nothing happens accidentally, no one dies by accident. Heroes are raised by mothers, by families. Georgia was saved because your sons died in their native land." Saakashvili said. (Trend)