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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 28
A year has passed since Giorgi Margvelashvili took up the reigns of Georgia

On October 27, a year has passed since Giorgi Margvelashvili was elected as President of Georgia. Mr. Margvelashvili came into power on 27 October, 2013. Earlier to this, he served as vice-premier and the Minister of Science.

Mr. Margvelashvili, who did not have any party allegiance, was adopted as presidential candidate by the Coalition in May, 2013. As many as 62.18 percent of the Georgian people voted for him.

The inauguration ceremony of the Georgian President was held on November 17, 2013. After electing Mr. Margvelashvili as president of Georgia, a new constitutional model came into effect and the President scope of competence was narrowed, while the PM’s authority has extended.

More support for Tbilisi’s most vulnerable this winter

The Georgian Government is teaming up with the capital city’s leading gas provider to make the cold winter months easier for thousands of the city’s most vulnerable families.

Georgia’s Ministry of Energy and KazTransGas-Tbilisi announced several projects were in the pipeline, with the help of Tbilisi City Hall, for this winter to specifically help thousands of socially vulnerable families.

Socially vulnerable families in Tbilisi, who are customers of KazTransGas-Tbilisi, will be able to get free regulation of their natural gas billing system.

This means that if they believed their natural gas meter was not working properly, they could contact the company and a representative would visit the family, inspect the problem and manage repairs free of charge.

Recent information of the Health Ministry stated there were currently 25,911 families considered as socially vulnerable in Tbilisi.

Another initiative of KazTransGas-Tbilisi and the Ministry of Energy was the renewal of the ‘Safe Winter’ program, which involved free inspection of gas equipment for all families in Tbilisi.

In this initiative, customers who believed their gas equipment was not working property are able to call the company’s business centre and a qualified specialist will visit their home and inspect the problem.

In addition, KazTransGas-Tbilisi and Tbilisi City Hall announced they would carry out a project to connect socially vulnerable families and internally displaced persons with a gas supply at no cost.

Under the project more than 3,500 families have been connected with a gas supply and 200 families were currently being fitted to the gas network. Moreover, 1,500 families will also be connected to the gas supply in the future.

Georgian President Congratulates Ukraine on Democratic Elections

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili congratulated Ukraine on holding of “democratic” parliamentary elections, which, he said, reaffirmed country’s European choice.

“Georgia firmly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in its internationally recognized borders. Early parliamentary elections have once again confirmed Ukrainian people’s commitment to the European values and their aspiration towards state building and better future. I strongly believe that with united efforts Ukraine will be able to overcome difficulties,” President Margvelashvili said in a statement on October 27.

Chairman of Georgia’s parliament to visit Belgium

Chairman of the Georgian parliament Davit Usupashvili will visit Belgium October 27-29, where he will take part in the events in connection with the 100th anniversary of the World War I, which will be held in the cities of Nieuwpoort and Ypres October 28.

These events will be attended by leaders and dignitaries from around the world, the press service of the parliament told Trend.

Meetings with the chairman of the chamber of representatives of the federal parliament of Belgium Siegfried Bracke, with the deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, foreign trade and European affairs Didier Reynders are scheduled to be held within the framework of the visit.

Zakro Kalashov to be extradited to Russia

Spain will extradite Georgian crime boss Zakro Kalashov to Russia, EUROPA PRESS reports.

According to foreign media, Zakro Kalashov moved to Spain in 2000. Kalashov escaped from Spain in June 2005 after 'Operation Wasp', which resulted in the arrests of 28 (mostly Georgians) connected with mafia oganizations in the former Soviet bloc. He arrived in the UAE, where he was eventually detained and extradited to Spain in 2006.

The Georgian crime boss was re-arrested in Spain in 2010. He was sentenced to seven years and five months in jail.

At the same time, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison in absentia by the Georgian court in 2006. Several years ago, the Georgian side asked the Spanish side to extradite Kalashov to Georgia.

Lobbyist campaign is a must – Manana Kobakhidze

The Government seems to be sure that in order to popularize and set the country up in the international scene, it needs to hold a lobbyist campaign,” Vice-Speaker , Manana Kobakhidze, released this statement in response to the announcement from one of the leaders of the National Movement, Mikheil Matchavariani, in his words, the Government has paid more than 4 million GEL to one of the American lobbyist company over a year and 9 months.

If we believe Mrs. Kobakhidze, the Parliament itself has not completed this type of an agreement with anybody.