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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 24
More than 2000 people addressed banks for credits larization

“More than 2000 people have already addressed banks for their credits to be converted into the national currency, and more than 100 people have already ‘larisized’ their loans,” the President of the Georgian Banks Association, Zurab Gvasalia has told IPN.

According to Gvasalia, up to 8% of the potential beneficiaries applied to banks on the very first day of the larization program.

According to him, any person believing they can be involved in the larization program can visit the banks.

The credits’ larization program was launched on January 17 and will last for two months.

Defense Minister to Visit Finland, Sweden, Estonia

Georgian Defense Minister LevanIzoria will visit Finland, Sweden and Estonia on January 23-28, the Ministry of Defense reported.

During his visit in Finland, Minister Izoria will meet his Finnish counterpart, Jussi Niinistö, Finnish Chief of Defense Jarmo Lindberg and Foreign Minister Timo Soini. The Georgian delegation will also attend the briefing on the reserve and mobilization system in Finland, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

From Finland, the Defense Minister will leave for Sweden, where he will attend the official welcoming ceremony at the Karlberg Military Academy and meet his Swedish colleague, Peter Hultqvist.

Following the bilateral meeting on January 24, Minister Izoria and Minister Hultqvist will address the seminar at the Society and Defense, Swedish think tank specializing on security and defense issues. The seminar, titled “Sweden and Georgia – Defense Cooperation in a Turbulent World” will explore a number of Georgia-related questions, including the country’s foreign and security priorities, its NATO and EU membership process and the counter-measures to Russian steps in the region.

In Sweden, Minister Izoria will also meet the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Bydén and representatives of Swedish Parliament’s Committee on Defense.

From Sweden, the Defense Minister will travel to Tartu, Estonia, where he will visit the Baltic Defense College and talk to the Georgian students of the Academy’s Joint Command and General Staff Course.

In Estonia, meetings will be held with Defense Minister Margus Tsahkna and Deputy Commander of the Defense Forces Indrek Sirel, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

Tbilisi joins global Women’s March against Trump

Like many other cities around the world, Tbilisi also held a women’s march on Saturday, following the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new US President.

The march was aimed at raising awareness about women’s rights and other civil rights issues, and started at Tbilisi Concert Hall and went down Rustaveli Avenue to the old parliament building.

Internationally the main event was held in Washington DC, where Trump was sworn in the day before as the 45th President of the United States. Trump has been accused of making racist and sexist statements as well as giving hate-filled speeches.

The idea for the Women’s March started with a Facebook post by Hawaiian Teresa Shook after Trump won the election. Many organisations and individuals joined this provocative campaign from around the globe.

Organisers described the people who joined the rally as people ‘who care about human rights on the first day of the new US administration’.

“We are an informal non-partisan grassroots gathering of people who believe in equality, diversity, inclusion and justice for everyone. We come together in order to support women’s rights everywhere and to stand against the politics of fear, division, and misogyny,” Maggie Osdoby, one of the organizers of the event, said.

People marching in the streets of Tbilisi were chanting and holding posters saying ‘Men of quality don’t fear equality’, ‘Women’s right matters’, ‘Lead with love’.

DodieKharkheli, another organiser of the protest march, said she believes local communities should be interested in events in other places, because everything that happens around the world also concerns Georgia.

“The deteriorating conditions in favour of protecting women’s and minority rights around the globe further complicates the already unfavourable situation in Georgia,” Kharkheli said. She estimates the number of participants in Tbilisi to be 300.

There were similar protest marches in 370 locations around the globe on Saturday.
(DF watch)