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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 7
Georgia-Germany prepares for Year of Friendship in 2017

Georgia and Germany are cementing their ties with the announcement of 2017 as the Year of Friendship between Georgia and Germany.

The Year of Friendship will be marked with several cultural, educational and entertaining events in both countries.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchshvili is on a two-day working visit in Germany, and has held her first meeting of the steering group of the Friendship Year 2017, held in the Foreign Ministry of Germany today.

The steering group, led by the foreign ministers of Georgia and Germany, is comprised of well-known experts from different fields of culture, politics and science.

Beruchashvili and her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier today attended the first meeting of the steering group.

During her working visit abroad, the group helped plan several joint activities within the Georgia-Germany Friendship Year 2017, such as exhibitions, concerts, film weeks, educational exchange programs, sporting events, conferences and festivals. (

Former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava will not be released from detention

Former Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava remains in detention. His conviction in the “November 7 case” has not been overturned.

As an InterPressNews journalist reported from the courthouse on May 6, Judge Vakhtang Mrelashvili handed down the ruling.

Gigi Ugulava’s lawyers demanded his client to be released. (IPN)

Governors’ Property Two governors are former Cartu Bank employees, and two more worked at the Interior Ministry - Transparency International Georgia

Transparency International Georgia has published a report on acting governors’ property and qualifications.

The organization's research shows ties between governors and companies associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili.

“Two out of eight governors are former employees of Cartu Bank, while one is a former employee of the Cartu Charity Fund. It is interesting that two governors worked at the Interior Ministry in the past. This, of course, does not mean that these people were illegally appointed to their post, but we can assume that the work experience in companies associated with the ex-PM played a role in it,”- says the report.

The research also shows that in two cases governors had improperly filled out property declarations, while the governor of Imereti is still the director of his company, which violates the law.

According to the organization, despite clear violations of the law, the Georgian legislation does not provide effective mechanisms for reacting to similar cases.

“We have repeatedly discussed this problem and have elaborated a legislative proposal to correct of this gap. We hope our proposal will soon be discussed by the Parliament,”- one of the organization’s representatives said. (IPN)

President’s role will be strengthened after Free Democrats come to power - Irakli Alasania

The country needs a strong leader with strong parliamentary oversight, - said Free Democrats' leader Irakli Alasania when commenting on reports of the President’s role in governmental ratification possibly being limited further.

As Alasania stated, the President’s role will be strengthened after the Free Democrats come to power.

"We have all seen that the majority of our society respects the president’s institution and does not like the attitude shown by the current political elite.

We, the Free Democrats, have a clear stance on this issue and think that this institution is extremely limited.

I believe that the country needs a strong leader, a manager, with a strong parliamentary oversight. We will lead the country in this direction when we come to power. A stronger presidential institution is our task and we will work on it together with our society,” he said. (IPN)

Poti Port Employees Go on Strike

Workers at the port in Poti have gone on strike, demanding higher pay.

The workers gave their bosses ten days to comply with their demand, otherwise they threatened to completely paralyse the port.

The strikers say the term has expired, and the workers followed through on their threat.

Ucha Cheminava, a head of shift at the port, said that they are demanding their thirteenth salary to be maintained, overview of the collective agreement and etc.

Marika Nadaraia from the port administration said the workers didn’t tell the company about the strike in advance, which is required by law, so their action is illegal.

She said it is not clear if the strikers’ demand will be met, but she added that the hours workers were absent because of the strike will be considered leave without permission.

By this time, Poti port is almost completely paralysed. (IPN)

National Guard Delegation Visits Ukraine

Delegation of the National Guard of Georgia pays a working visit to the Ukraine.

Chief of the National Guard of Georgia, Brigadier General Levan Gamkrelidze accompanied by his Deputy, Colonel Omar Begoidze were invited by the Ukrainian colleagues. The visit was conducted in the framework of the 2015 bilateral cooperation plan between the Defence Ministry of Georgia and Defence Ministry of Ukraine.

Chief of the National Guard of Georgia was hosted by Lt. General Mykola Balan, Commander of the Ukrainian Nation Guard. At the meeting the sides shared experience and set future prospects of cooperation. Brigadier General Levan Gamkrelidze also met with the Head of International Relations Department of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Within the framework of the visit the Georgian National Guard Delegation will visit the military units of the Ukrainian National Guard. (Frontenews)