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The News in Brief

Monday, December 29
New Year Eve Bazaar opens in Ergneti

To support people living in Georgia’s breakaway region non-governmental organization (NGO) ‘Tskhinvali House’ organized one day New Year Eve Bazaar in a village Ergneti near the border between Georgia and occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region today, December 28.

Ergneti Bazaar aimed to support locals who can sell their agricultural goods for the New Year Eve. The project is supported by the European Union and the United Nations Development Program in Georgia.

The organizer of the project ‘Tskhinvali House’ is the confederation of 15 small organisations working with refugees from Tskhinvali in South Ossetia. ‘Tskhinvali House’ representative Marina Meshvildishvili emphasized that this event has nothing in common with the former Ergneti market closed down in 2004.

However, De-facto Minister of Foreign Affairs of occupied region of South Ossetia Murat Jioev did not believe that and commented that the event near so called border area will aggravate the situation. "Official Tbilisi plans to restore Ergneti market, which will not bring the positive results,” he said.

The village Ergneti was divided into two parts after Russia-Georgia’s war in August 2008. One part appeared in a buffer zone between Georgia and occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region and another part of the village is now the one of the last point on the provisional border of breakaway territories of South Ossetia. Ergneti was once the site of one of the largest wholesale markets in the Caucasus.

Meanwhile, Ergneti Bazaar was opened in 1991 and became the place where Georgians and Ossetians traded. This market was the source of the main income for the people living along the border of the occupied territories. However, in 2004 former government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili closed the market down named the reason that it was major trading point for contraband goods.

Russia to impose embargo on Georgian fruits and vegetables

As the bpn portal has written according to the Resonance newspaper, Russia may impose embargo on Georgian fruits and vegetables from the New Year. Neither dry nor row production will be exported to the North market.

According to Russia’s media, President Putin signed the decree in August stating quarantine regulations are the reason for it.

Tbilisi has not released an official response yet.

The prohibition will refer to several post-soviet countries including Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

According to Resonance, the new regulation will not refer to the Eurasian Union’s countries: Armenia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Severe fire kills 7-year old boy in Tbilisi

Fire in the former military hospital building has killed a 7-year-old boy.

The fire emerged on the fifth floor. The boy died immediately and the rest family members got serious injuries.

As Emergency Situations service has informed InterPressNews, they were informed about the fire at 02:21 AM. Ten emergency brigades were trying to extinguish it.

Foreigners can request residence permit online

Foreigners will be able to represent documents for obtaining residence permit in Georgia through the web-page or 24 hours a day from December 29.

A Statement concerning the simplified procedural innovation has been made by the Public Service Development Agency (PSDA).

A foreigner requesting for the residence permit might be up to 18 years old.

Only those foreign citizens can request for the residence permit who are in Georgia. Those who want to expense their permit can enjoy with the service from abroad as well.

Applicants can fill their forms in three different languages: Georgian, English and Russian.

An interested individual should upload all necessary documents in the web-pages, contact with a distance service employee and though the electronic communication express his wish for gaining the residence permit.

Foreigners will just need a web-camera, microphone and air phones to benefit from the new service.

Only the following residence permits are issued in Georgia: Working, studying, for a family re-union, Georgia’s former citizen’s residence permit, residence permit for those having no citizenship, a permanent residence permit and investment residence permit.

For additional information foreigners can telephone: +995 32 240 10 10

Members of Zugdidi City Hall and City Council to receive increased salaries

Members of Zugdidi City Hall and City Council will receive increased salaries.

The noise was followed by this decision at the Zugdidi City Council meeting on Saturday.

Member of the United National Movement, Batlome Shelia and representative of the Burjanadze-United Opposition, Tengiz Kharchilava are against the above-mentioned decision.

According to them, there are unspent budget funds- GEL 16 000 and “the local government decided to increase their salaries, while there are a lot of problems in the city; they are not going to increase the teachers’ salaries”.

Batlome Shelia is warning the local government “there will be costs for today’s decision”

The Head of Zugdidi City Council’s salary is GEL 2750, his deputy’s salary is GEL 2500; The Chairman of the commission’s salary is GEL 2000. The head of the office of Zugdidi City Council’s salary is GEL 2000.

R Radio and Newsgeorgia fined 5,000 GEL for illegal broadcasting

Georgian National Communication Commission has fined LTD R Radio and LTD International News Agency NewsGeorgia with 5,000 GEL both for illegal broadcasting. R Radio has also been given a written sanction for violating of license-related obligations.

The commission has stated that Newsgeorgia, based on its own editorial responsibility, created a radio production that was broadcasted by R Radio with the title-Radio Sputnik Georgia.

"The action was taken as undertaking joint broadcasting without appropriate license and authorization,” Georgian National Communication Commission's statement reads.

The R radio had triggered speculations in public with regard to its Russian links.

Privately owned R Radio, which currently broadcast in Tbilisi under the name Radio Monte Carlo, allocated four hours a day to broadcast Russia Today's new large-scale media brand- Sputnik’s programs in November 2014.

The legality of broadcasting Sputnik was put at question mark by local media reports and NGOs, especially when the Sputnik launched its website and begun radio broadcasting in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region, which is currently occupied by Russia.

Georgian non-governmental organisation Institute for Development for the Freedom of Information (IDFI) called on R Radio in November to publically release details of its agreement with Russian state news agency 'Russia Today’.

Since the Georgian National Communication Commission launched studying the issue, the R Radio stopped of Radio Sputnik Georgia after a week in action.