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The News in Brief

Friday, March 24
Will inspection of meat imported from Brazil begin?

Will mass inspection of frozen meat products imported from Brazil to Georgia begin? Finance Ministry says that regulations for meat importer companies have been straitened, and all products will be subjected to laboratory examinations.

Some of the biggest consumers of Brazilian meat have suspended imports over allegations that companies have been selling unsafe produce for years.

China has banned red meat imports from Brazil, while the European Union said it would stop buying from companies implicated in the scandal.

The crisis was triggered by a huge federal police operation on Friday. It found evidence that meat-packers had been selling rotten and substandard produce for several years, BBC reported on March 21. (

On Nowruz, Georgian Leaders Reach Out to Azerbaijani Co-Citizens

President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili visited the town of Marneuli in Kvemo Kartli region on March 21 on the occasion of Nowruz festivities.

Nowruz, a holiday marking spring equinox, which is widely celebrated by a large Muslim community in Georgia, was declared as a national holiday in Georgia in 2010.

“I would like to thank you for your devotion to strengthening our homeland,” President Margvelashvili said in his address to an outdoor gathering in the town of Marneuli, predominately populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis.

“Georgian citizens of Azerbaijani origin are important components of common Georgian state,” Margvelashvili added.

“For a long time, we have been building a strong country together, our homeland – Georgia, standing side by side in hardship and joy. And I am sure that, together, our future generations will build a better future for our country,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated in his speech.

“Our citizens of Azerbaijani origin are the wealth of our nation,” Kvirikashvili said.

“I am also glad that you are maintaining close ties with Azerbaijan, our friendly, brotherly country,” the Prime Minister added.

Similar messages were voiced Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze, who congratulated the Georgian Azerbaijanis with Nowruz in a written statement on March 21.

Stressing that Georgia is “a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic” society, Parliamentary Chairman said that Nowruz “is not a national day of our Azerbaijani compatriots only” and that “Georgians are also celebrating it.”

In Georgia’s 2014 population census, 233,000 people (6.3%) reported Azerbaijani origin. In Kvemo Kartli, they make 41.7% of the population. (

11-year-old girl killed by car in Tbilisi

An 11 year old girl was killed in a car crash on the outskirts of Tbilisi on Tuesday.

The tragic accident occurred in the morning hours Tuesday on Aghmashenebeli Lane on the northern outskirts of the city.

The car, presumably a BMW, first crashed into another car and then veered into the bus stop, where it hit a woman and her daughter who were waiting for the bus, eyewitnesses said.

One of the witnesses said the victims live nearby and were probably on the way to school.

The child (11) was killed on the spot, while her mother was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries. Her condition is serious, but stable, according to doctors.

Both drivers were detained and taken to a lab for alcohol tests.

Since 2011, Georgia has witnessed a steady increase in car accidents. According to figures from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 602 people were killed in traffic accidents in 2015 and 409 were killed in the period from January through September of 2016. (

The Agreement between Georgia and Germany on Cooperation in Combating Crganized Crime entered into force

On 20 March 2017 the Agreement between the Government of Georgia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on Cooperation in Combating Organized Crime, Terrorism and Other Serious Criminal Offences, signed on 9 July 2014 in Berlin, entered into force.

The agreement envisages cooperation between the parties in combating organized crime, terrorism, crimes against human life and health, drug-related crime, illegal trafficking in arms, trafficking in human beings and illegal migration, property-related crimes, cybercrime and other crimes, both in operative and non-operative directions.

The mentioned agreement will strengthen effective cooperation already existing between the law enforcement agencies of Georgia and the Federal Republic of Germany. (

If demographic policy is not changed in Georgia, by the year of 2050 the country's population will be 2 985 000 – IDFI

According to the UN surveys and the demographic forecast, if demographic policies and strategies are not changed in Georgia, by the year of 2050 the country's population will be 2 985 000, - says of the Institute for Development and Freedom of Information (IDFI).

According to the organization, as per the census, the population of Georgia has decreased by 15% compared to the 2002 census results (4 371 535 people) and the total number of the population amounted to 3 713 804 people, respectively.

"Although no negative trends have been observed in recent years in terms of the birth rate, demographic experts suggest that in the near future this figure will significantly deteriorate. The assumption is supported by the view that people born in the 90s will enter the marriage and childbearing age in 2017-2018, though the birth rate was very low in the 90s.

Therefore, it is important for the government to work out an appropriate demographic policy in order to improve the demographic situation”, says the organization. (IPN)