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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 20
Kazbegi sakrebulo approved construction of Hydro Power Plant

The Kazbegi Sakrebulo approved construction of a hydro power plant in Khde Gorge, a final step towards full commencement of the project. The 6 megawatt Kazbegi HPP project envisages redirecting the Brolistskali River into a pipe. Preparatory work started as early as last year, but was halted after the Parliamentary election. The project failed its first Environmental Impact Assessment done by the Ministry of Environment Protection, but reapplied and received positive assessment, under certain conditions. Full construction works will resume soon. (iccm)

Two cases of gas poisoning in Tbilisi

Two gas poisoning incidents have been registered in Tbilisi. According to the Eristavi surgical National Centre, a 25 and 27 year -old women were hospitalized from a house on Jikia Street.

The victims have been admitted to the Eristavi Surgical National Centre Toxicology Department. Their lives are not in danger. (InterPressNews)

Parole board members to change

Parole board members may be changed, the current chairperson of the parole board Elene Tevdoradze said, explaining that former President Mikheil Saakashvili’s advisors were mainly on the board. Tevdoradze wants to remain on the board. Tevdoradze says that the new president has not worked out a decree regarding the parole board and pardoning of prisoners will not happen on 23 November, Saint George day, though the parole board received about 200 applications from prisoners.

“The new president may say that he is not interested in this and he will start from a blank page, as all the applications are on the name of Saakashvili,” she said. (InterPressNews)

MP quits UNM parliamentary minority group

A long-time lawmaker Davit Bezhuashvili has quit the United National Movement (UNM)’s parliamentary minority group, leaving the opposition with 51 members in the 150-seat legislative body.

Bezhuashvili, who is behind one of the country’s largest business conglomerates, Georgian Industrial Group, whose assets range from coal mining and the energy sector to real estate and beverage production, is a majoritarian MP from the Tetritskaro constituency in the Kvemo Kartli region. He is the brother of Gela Bezhuashvili, who served as foreign minister and intelligence chief under ex-president Saakashvili.

MP Davit Bezhuashvili, who has been an MP since 1999, has not yet spoken about the reasons behind his decision, but senior UNM lawmaker Giorgi Gabashvili said:

“He told us that he would better perform his duties as a majoritarian MP by being an independent lawmaker. He also said that he is not going to join any other political group.”

Like Bezhuashvili, 13 other lawmakers who have quit the UNM parliamentary minority group, are also majoritarian MPs. Georgia’s past parliamentary experience shows that majoritarian MPs, especially those who are not active political figures, are more inclined towards cooperating with a governing party. (Civil.Ge)

Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance experts to arrive in Georgia

A delegation of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance experts who will stay in Adjara until December 10 arrived in Georgia. During the visit, the Russian experts together with representatives of the Georgian National Food Agency will monitor the formation of citrus export consignments. The representatives of the regional service of the National Food Agency will conduct the inspections. But five experts of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance will stay in Adjara until December 10 and will implement appropriate monitoring. (Trend)

Six new clinics to be built in Samtskhe-Javakheti

The Municipal Development Fund is going to build 6 new clinics in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region as part of a larger, 2.4 million GEL plan of building 81 clinics all over Georgia by the end of September 2014. Building one such clinic costs 29,639 GEL on average and each of the 6 municipalities in Samtskhe-Javakheti is going to have one. The clinics will afterwards be equipped by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection. (sknews)

Egyptian asylum seekers using Tbilisi as a turnstile

The German authorities regard the high number of Egyptian asylum seekers in German airports entering Germany via Georgia with increasing concern.

That is why the German Ministry of the Interior sent a consultant of the German Federal Police to Georgia according to the magazine The Spiegel of November, 18.

The consultant should cooperate with the airlines in Tbilisi in preventing possible asylum seekers from entering Germany.

“Egyptian asylum seekers always arrive on the plane from Tbilisi, Georgia, because Egyptians don't need a visa for Georgia. And if they're just changing planes here on their way back to Egypt, they don't need one for Germany. But then instead of changing planes, they disembark. The German Federal Police calls them "transit jumpers." There were close to 600 of them in Munich between May to August. It is the easiest way to enter the asylum system,” Spiegel Online International reads.

According to the Ministry of the Interior more than 1, 500 Egyptian citizens have used this method to come to Germany over the last six months. (Spiegel Online International)