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The News in Brief

Friday, December 6
OSCE Ministerial held in Kiev

OSCE foreign ministers are convening for the annual ministerial council meeting in Kiev to assess the organization’s progress and make decisions to ensure political, military, economic, environmental and human security.

The two-day meeting provides a rare opportunity for the 57 participating states and 11 partner countries, including Afghanistan, to engage in high-level multilateral and bilateral talks on their current security relations and concerns.

The ministerial will be held amid the nation-wide demonstrations in the streets of the Ukrainian capital. For the past two weeks protestors have been demanding the resignation of the Ukrainian president and the cabinet, as well as early elections.

OSCE Secretary General Torborn Jangland is already in Kiev and has prepared recommendations for the Ukrainian government.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is also in Kiev to participate in the Ministerial. (Rustavi 2)

Penitentiary minister confirms prisoners’ strike

Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Sozar Subari has confirmed that about 60 prisoners are on hunger strike in various prisons. Subari added that the government will not be coerced by such actions.

Prisoners in various prisons have been on hunger strike during the past few days. They are objecting to the government’s decision not to set up a commission for finding gaps in the judiciary legislation. They are also demanding the annulment of Prima Article 223, which stipulates that individuals involved in organized crime will be prosecuted. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian wine is now a part of the world’s intangible heritage

UNESCO has added ancient Georgian wine-making techniques to its list of "intangible heritage" in need of being preserved.

UNESCO said in a statement issued late on December 4th that envoys picked 14 piece of cultural heritage at a meeting in the Azeri capital of Baku.

Among the other new entries are the traditional Japanese Washoku cooking method, the Mediterranean diet, and the traditional use of the abacus for counting in China.

On December 3rd, UNESCO added traditional Azerbaijani horse-riding game called chovqan to the list.

Established in 2008, the Intangible Cultural Heritage list comprises some 100 traditional events from around the globe and, according to UNESCO, is designed to "help demonstrate the diversity of this heritage and raise awareness about its importance." (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

Georgian president’s salary more than doubled

The Georgian president's salary has more than doubled. Georgian Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri confirmed this information before the cabinet meeting on December 5th.

The total salary has been increased from 4,200 lari ($2464) to 9,000 lari ($5,280), Khaduri said.

"The president will receive some 7,200 lari ($4,224) after taxes," the finance minister said.

"As a result of shrinking the apparatus of the president, some funds were freed up and therefore, we increased the salary of President Giorgi Margvelashvili.” Khaduri said.

Monthly pensions in Georgia are 160 lari ($93) and the average salary is equal to 350-400 lari. ($205-$234). (Trend)

Georgia, New Zealand discuss issues of cooperation within UN

A delegation from New Zealand headed by Ambassador and former Prime Minister Jim Bolger has arrived in Georgia.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Djalagania met with the delegation.

The parties discussed issues of cooperation within the U.N. and topical issues of bilateral relations, the Georgian Foreign Ministry told Trend on December 4th.

The delegation from New Zealand also met with the head of Georgia's presidential administration Lasha Abashidze. (Trend)

Tbilisi by-pass railway project to be resumed

The construction of the Tbilisi by-pass railway will continue. The economic council has made a decision to extend a contract with a contractor company. The process will include additional engineering surveys. (Rustavi 2)

Volsky to chair Georgian Dream

Gia Volsky has been chosen as the new political secretary of the Georgian Dream coalition.

The decision was made by the coalition’s council after a session with Prime Minsiter Irakli Gharibashvili.

Irina Imerlishvili is the new secretary for legal affairs, Armaz Akhvlediani is the new secretary for international affairs, while Irakli Gvilava will head the youth wing. (InterPressNews)

Snow forecast in Georgia for December 9th

It will snow in Georgia on December 9th. The Ministry of the Environment has announced that dry weather will continue until December 8th. Weather forecasts predict that temperatures will drop on the evening of December 8th and that it will snow in the early hours of December 9th. (InterPressNews)