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The News in Brief

Friday, May 2
PM sets official to explain to clergy what anti-discrimination law is about

Georgia’s anti-discrimination draft law remains in the spotlight – the issue has been discussed at today’s governmental meeting.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said the clergy, which is strictly opposed to the law, did not have complete information regarding the legislative package.

Gharibashvili commissioned Parliamentary Secretary Shalva Tadumadze to communicate with the priests and to explain to them what the bill was about.

The clergy’s “main concern was that the adoption of this law was going to legalise sin, promote homosexuality, and that something terrible would happen in the country. I'll say with full responsibility that the adoption of the anti-discrimination law will not legalize any illegal activity," the PM said.

He denied the rumor that the anti-discrimination law would ban priests from preaching.

"The second major concern of these [priests] is that they will not be allowed to preach. Of course, this is an absolute lie,” Gharibashvili said.

"Adoption of this law will not limit preaching. This is exactly why we put a separate article in the bill, which refers to the existent agreement between the state and the church," he stated. (Agenda.Ge)

President Margvelashvili comments on anti-discrimination law

The President of Georgia says the law on the anti-discrimination of the citizens of Georgia, which has caused a serious controversy among society, clergymen, NGOs and others, represents no threats for the Georgian nation. Giorgi Margvelashvili said in a televised interview that Parliament was obliged to adopt this in order to provide the unity of the Georgian community and to move discussions towards a more peaceful platform.

“I hope that society will be better informed and better shown that it will not be affected by the adoption of this law, but on the contrary, we will become a better society, because the oppression of others will be prohibited and so it has been so far by the constitution of Georgia, but this law will help us unite. During the past twenty years, we were accustomed to dividing each other into some groups according to some signs thus making ourselves a group too, instead of trying to form a whole society. This is how we should be directed into a peaceful regime to move forward,” the President said. (Rustavi 2)

Psychoactive drugs are now prohibited by legislation

The law on psychoactive drugs initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has been enforced from Thursday. The use, transportation and selling of bio narcotic and concrete psychoactive drugs is now a crime and any person charged with this crime of the Criminal Code of Georgia will face up to five years imprisonment.

The reinforcement of the law on psychoactive drugs was caused by the numerous incidents of the use of these drugs and as most incidents have proven fatal.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia is currently running an anti-drug campaign to uproot the use of the drug called “bio” in Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Youth groups in Georgia hold rallies on May 1

Young people in Georgia marked International Worker’s Day, May 1, with rallies at different places in the country.

A rally was held at Tbilisi State University by the Young Social-Democrats, Georgia’s Young Greens, Georgia’s Youth Trade Union Organization, Young Socialists and others.

The goal of the rally, according to organizers, was to demand the creation of a free and equal environment for the fair development of the country.

The young organizers dedicated the rally to workers in Chiatura, which is a manganese mining town, the workers in Kazreti, a place where there are gold and copper mines, workers at Zestaponi’s ferroalloy factory and other places where workers have to toil under slave-like conditions.

Another rally was planned in Kazreti, where the mining company RMG Gold is carrying out mining work. In February, all of Kazreti was on strike in support of the company’s workers, who demanded higher salaries and better conditions. The rally in Kazreti is organized by the environmental group Green Fist.

A rally was also held in Batumi, organized by the youth group Alternative. (Democracy & Freedom watch)

Books brought to Georgia in WW2 to be returned to Germany

Georgia has decided to return books currently at Tbilisi State University that were brought here from Germany during World War II. It is up to Germany to find out which books and how many.

Shalva Tadumadze, the government’s parliamentary secretary, explained that the German government has said it is willing to help Georgia restore damaged books.

All the books will first be brought to Germany for restoration. If there are books discovered which were sent here during WW2, they will remain in Germany. The rest will be returned to Georgia.

A commission has been created with people from both governments to decide which books should go where.

Parliament is preparing amendments to the law on bringing and sending cultural values in and from Georgia in order to regulate the book transfer. (Democracy & Freedom watch)

Wolf pack attacked livestock near Tbilisi

A pack of wolves has attacked livestock in a village near Tbilisi, Interpressnews reports.

The wolf attack took place in the village Kodistskaro, near the town Kaspi, and only 60 km from the center of the Georgian capital.

The news agency reports that the wolves charged into a flock of sheep and cows belonging to local resident David Kobauri, and killed some of the livestock.

This is the fifth wolf attack in the vicinity of the towns Gori, Kaspi and Kareli, to the west of Tbilisi, according to Interpressnews.

Local people are asking relevant authorities to help them deal with the problem. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgia holds presentation for Israeli tour operators

The Georgian National Tourism Administration held a presentation for Israeli tour operators.

The tourism administration's head Giorgi Sigua familiarized his Israeli colleagues with Georgia's sightseeing places and events planned to be held during the summer season.

Some 43 tour operators of seven Israeli tourism companies visited Georgia. They were in Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Tskhaltubo, Borjomi, Bakuriani, Vardzia, Gori, Kazbegi, Telavi, Signakhi and other tourism centers.

Some 40,000 Israeli tourists visited Georgia in 2013, which is 29 percent more than in 2012. (Trend)