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The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 16
I barely refrained from hitting him - Ukraine’s Interior Minister on Saakashvili

Ukraine’s Interior, Minister Arsen Avakov, has published a post on Facebook in relation to the Odessa Governor, Mikheil Saakashvili.

‘A while ago, Saakashvili lost control over himself when I asked him why he had contacts with Uralkhim, a Russian Oligarch who has interest in the Odessa Port Factory and how it is linked with the factory’s privatization,’ – Avakov writes.

“The Odessa Governor started shouting at me: “Nobody has the right to talk to Mikheil Saakashvili in this way! You corrupt Minister, I am an honest man!”, then he started to insult me.

'I barely refrained from hitting him, but splashed water in his face. I have not seen such a crazy populist for a long time…he did not allow me to say anything and interrupted everybody, including the President,’ reads the statement posted by Avakov.

According to him, Saakashvili is merely a chatterbox who is not accountable for anything at all. ‘I have seen enough artists and circus actors. Now it is necessary to work! It’s enough… I am not going to be patient towards such an aggressive jerk…' reads the statement.

According to Avakov, the factory needs to be sold openly to a well-known Western company and not to an offshore enterprise. (IPN)

Acclaimed Georgian philosopher awarded top state prize

A German-born novelist, deported as a 19-year-old to his ancestral home of Georgia in 1946, followed the execution of his father after being awarded Georgia’s top state prize – the Presidential Order of Excellence.

Famed Georgian philosopher and author Givi Margvelashvili, who writes only in German, was today awarded the state prize for his contribution to the creative arts and the promotion of Georgian culture abroad.

The acclaimed author and Honorary Doctor of Tbilisi State University, who celebrated his 88th birthday today, was presented the award by the head of the President’s Administration, Giorgi Abashishvili, for his "long and fruitful artistic and scientific work” and his efforts to promote Georgian culture abroad.

Born in Germany in 1927, Margvelashvili was deported at the age of 19 by the Soviet KGB to his ancestral homeland of Georgia, which he knew nothing about. His father was executed in 1946 by the Soviet security service while he was detained in a Soviet concentration camp in Germany.

After arriving in Georgia, Margvelashvili learnt the language and immersed himself in writing.

“I certainly remember that I started writing in 1961 because I received a one-room apartment in Saburtalo [a district of Tbilisi]. I was alone and I started writing there, everything began from that flat,” he told

In Germany he lived through the Nazi regime and in Georgia he was subject to the Communist regime – something not many people experienced.

“I knew what was bad in Germany and what is bad here. These two situations were very similar and this is reason enough to think and write about it. People who were writing about these problems mostly knew only one side, but I knew both. I knew from my personal experience that there is one main harsh line in the history of these two worlds. This was very close to me and I tried to describe thisartistically.”

After years of writing, Margvelashvili published his first book in 1991. One year earlier, in 1990, he returned to Berlin after more than 40 years away. He wanted to travel back and forth between Georgia and Germany but failing health meant he was forced to remain in Germany for treatment.

In 1994 he was granted German citizenship but he had to give up his Georgian citizenship. Now Margvelashvili calls himself a German citizen who lived in Georgia.

Margvelashvili’s life-long contribution to Georgia-German cultural relations has been recognised internationally.

In 2014, the Goethe Institute and Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association established an annual German-Georgian Culture Award bearing Margvelashvili's name.

The prize, awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of Georgian-German cultural relations, was awarded to Giorgi Leonidze in 2013, State Museum of Georgian Literature Director Lasha Bakradze in 2014 and Georgian National Museum General Director David Lortkipanidze in 2015. (

Discussions regarding witnesses questioning rules to continue- opposition disapprove bill

A discussion regarding the rules of witness interrogation is being carried out in Parliament. The issue will be considered in its second reading at the Legal Affairs Committee meeting.

After the first hearing of the draft law, some changes have been introduced - the article, according to which the witness was punished for changing their testimony several times was removed. According to new edition, this will be possible only in exceptional cases.

Despite the changes in the bill, the motion is not being supported by the parliamentary minority. (Rustavi 2)