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The News in Brief

Thursday, July 9
Tbilisi Flood: Donations exceed 24m GEL

A total of 24,550,076 million GEL has been donated to a special account opened by the Government of Georgia so people in Georgia and around the globe can donate to the Tbilisi flood relief fund.

Officials said the loss inflicted by the disaster exceeded 100 million GEL.

Georgia’s Finance Ministry announced all donations totalled 24,225,238 million GEL, $733,649 USD and ˆ64,762 since the June 13 disaster.

About 400 people from 80 families were affected by the flash flood.

The Patriarchate of Georgia was among the donors – it supported the flood-affected families with a 100,000 GEL donation.

Meanwhile the Presidential Reserve Fund allocated 200,000 GEL and the Governmental Reserve Fund allocated 150,000 GEL to the relief fund.

The Government of Georgia opened several special accounts at the State Treasury so people in Georgia and abroad can donate to the Tbilisi flood relief fund in local and foreign currencies.

One bank account was established for donations in US dollar while a second was set up for donations in Euro. Other accounts were established for donations in Lari, the national currency of Georgia.

A separate account has also opened at the State Treasury for transferring money to the Municipal Budget of Tbilisi. (

International Maritime Organization awards Georgian Archimandrite Ilia Kartozia

The International Maritime Organization has posthumously granted Archimandrite Ilia Kartozia an award for extraordinary bravery.

According to the Maritime Transport Agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) annually awards people for displays of extraordinary bravery in the Adriatic Sea.

This year, the organization made a decision to award Ilia Kartozia, following a proposal from the Maritime Transport Agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

According to the Maritime Transport Agency, no Georgians have received any similar award so far, which makes the fact very important.

Father Ilia died during the Norman Atlantic ferry rescue operation on the Adriatic Sea on 28 December 2014. He gave his seat on a rescue boat to a woman with a child. Eight Georgians were aboard the ferry. All of them survived, except for Father Ilia. More than 10 people died in this tragic incident.

Tbilisi almost ready to host UEFA Super Cup

Dinamo Stadium is now ready for the August 11 UEFA Super Cup match between Barcelona and Sevilla, the mayor of Tbilisi said after a session of the organizing committee on Tuesday.

Mayor Davit Narmania said his city is ready to host the Super Cup and that preparations are now in the final stage, with new chairs being installing.

“More than 30,000 chairs are installed and in a week this process will be completed. Thus, we finish large scale work which Tbilisi City Hall took responsibility for doing. We will present a prepared stadium to the Football Federation,” he said.

Georgian fans will be able to buy tickets at cash booths at Mikheil Meskhi stadium from 9am on Sunday.

Sports Minister Tariel Khechikashvili said on Wednesday that the ministry will do as much as possible to avoid the reselling of tickets at higher prices.

He said the UEFA Super Cup organizing committee will meet once more before ticket sales open, to discuss all the possible risks and ways to avoid them. (DF

NGOs address EU Ambassador Janos Herman

Several NGOs have sent a letter to EU Ambassador Janos Herman on the subject of separating the supervisory function from the National Bank of Georgia.

The letter, signed by 15 non-governmental organizations, was submitted to the European Union Delegation office in Georgia.

In the joint letter, the NGOs express concern about the adoption of the bill on NBG by the Parliament in the first reading, saying the legislative change will weaken and worsen the quality and independence of Georgia's banking supervision.

The authors of the letter emphasize that the bill drafting process was concerning as well, since it violated the obligations under the Association Agreement. They allege that according to the Association Agenda, legislation associated with the National Bank can be changed only through consultations with European Union’s experts.

In this context, the NGOs ask the EU Ambassador to provide information on whether experts and representatives of international organizations participated in the consultations and if they did, to present a list of the experts.

In addition, the petitioners ask Janos Herman to clearly explain what the consequences of violating the Association Agreement may be.

The letter was signed by:
Green Wave Association;
Baltic and Black Sea Alliance – Georgia;
Economic Policy Research Centre;
Research Journalism and Advocacy Center;
Media Development Foundation;
Future Initiative;
Community and Banks;
Europe for Georgia;
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy;
Democratic Initiative of Georgia;
Reform Association of Georgia;
Strategic Research and Development Center;
Studio Monitor;
Tolerance and Diversity Institute;
Voice from Georgia;;
Giga Bedinashvili, Dean of business schools of Tbilisi Free University and Agricultural University. (IPN)