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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 17
UNM Names Nominees for Legislative Positions

The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party has re-nominated Davit Bakradze, who was number one on the UNM’s party list, as the leader of the parliamentary minority group.

Sergi Kapanadze, a former deputy foreign minister who was elected through the UNM’s party list in the October 8 parliamentary elections, will become Parliament’s Vice Speaker.

The UNM faction will be chaired by Nika Melia, the UNM’s chief of campaign and a mayoral candidate in the 2014 local elections in Tbilisi.

The UNM party, which will take 27 seats in the new Parliament, has decided to form a minority group, but it has yet to decide whether the party will set up more than one inter-parliamentary faction.

The ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party, which will have a 115 seat supermajority in the new Parliament, has not made a final decision on the number of factions.

The third party, the Alliance of Patriots, will take six seats in the new Parliament and set up one faction.

It is unknown so far when President Margvelashvili will set the date of an inaugural session of the newly elected Parliament, which should be convened no later than November 19.

Money transfers to Georgia up 14% in October year-on-year

The flow of money into Georgia grew by 14 percent in October, according to the latest monthly report by the National Bank.

The money flow into the country was USD 102.5 million, USD 12.6 million more than in October 2015.

91.9 percent of transfers came from 13 countries. Russia is on top of the list accounting for USD 34.6 million, followed by the United States USD 11.6 million, Greece USD 11.3 million, Italy USD 10.2 million and Turkey USD 8.7 million.

Other significant origin countries are Israel, Spain, Germany, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and France.

In October 2016, 17.8 million USD was transferred out of Georgia, as compared to 15.1 million USD in October 2015. (DF watch)

Saakashvili says some leaders of the United National Movement are “self-proclaimed”

According to Mikheil Saakashvili, some self-proclaimed leaders of the National Movement do not believe that the National Movement had achievements.

“I am not going to make active decisions in the party in the near future. This is not my function, but I want to say that our activists seem to be more proud of our achievements than the small group of the self-proclaimed leaders. I think they don’t believe any more that we have achieved anything. They are talking about this in a modest way,” Saakashvili told Rustavi 2 TV.

According to him, there were mistakes, but a lot of other stories about failings in the party were complete nonsense.

“We decided not to respond to it, we were shy to talk about our achievements. However, a simple question is: do people live in Georgia better in 2016 than in 2012? This topic should have been used during the elections. The opposition was talking about only 45 000 jobs instead of saying how the government destroyed the country”, - Saakashvili said. (IPN)

Tbilisi budget 2017: Public transport is priority

Development of the public transport fleet in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi will be the top priority and challenge for the Tbilisi City Hall next year.

In this direction the 2017 budget for Tbilisi City Hall allocated the largest chunk of funds, exceeding over 62 million GEL (about $25 million/ˆ23 million*), while the total budget will be over 800 million GEL (about $322 million/ˆ300 million*).

Tbilisi City Hall has started overhauling and modernising the public bus fleet in the capital city this year already in order to reduce vehilce emissions and curbing rising pollution levels caused by old, deteriorating buses.

The first blue buses, which run on compressed natural gas (CNG), appeared on Tbilisi's streets in September thanks to an agreement between leading international provider of commercial vehicles, the Man Truck and Bus AG Company.

The agreement said that in the next months, 143 new buses will be added to Tbilisi's public transport service.

Meanwhile, Tbilisi City Hall planned to reduce the administrative costs by 16.1 million GEL (about $6.44 million/ˆ6 million*) next year, meaning that less money will be spent on fuel, repair works and purchasing different technologies.

Plans for the 2017 budget for Tbilisi City Hall also included developing roads and maintaining the historic districts of the city as well as building more kindergartens, and transforming Tbilisi into a greener and more ecologically-friendly city.

Tbilisi Mayor announced the draft budget for 2017 had been already sent to the Tbilisi Council, which will be approved by the end of this year. (