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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 5
Georgian Parliament Approves Changes to 2017 State Budget

(TBILISI) – Georgia’s parliament on Monday approved a revised state budget for 2017, which among other changes, envisages increase of the economic growth forecast from 4% to 4.5%.

According to the revised budget, aggregate revenues were increased by GEL 30 million ($11.08 million) with the new figure set at GEL 11.4 billion ($4.213 billion), while aggregate expenditures were increased by GEL 305 million ($112.73 million) reaching GEL 11.7 billion ($4.324 billion).

The revised budget set tax revenues at GEL 8.9 billion ($3.289 billion), up by GEL 160 million ($59.139 million) year-on-year, and also increases the forecasted revenues from foreign grants by GEL 46.7million($17.261 million)to GEL 331.2 million ($122.41 million).

The 2018 state budget is currently under review. The Government projects 4.5% economic growth next year.

Reports Say ISIS Terrorist Chatayev Entered Georgia from Turkey

(TBILISI) -- Chechen-born ISIS operative Akhmed Chatayev allegedly entered Georgia from Turkey via and planned to carry out a terrorist attack, Georgia’s weekly newspaper Kviris Palitra reported Monday.

“The group arrived in Georgia from Turkey where Chatayev spent last 6 months. Chatayev and his three accomplices were experienced fighters of Islamic Caliphate. The group most likely entered from the Sarpi Customs Checkpoint (near Georgia’s Black Sea port Batumi). It isn’t easy to pass the checkpoint, but $600-900 bribe can do wonders,” the newspaper said in its unconfirmed editorial.

The report claims Chatayev spent the last six months in Georgia after receiving local help in finding an apartment on the outskirts of the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Jaba Bregvadze to become first Georgian player in Super Rugby tournament

Georgia's national rugby team forward Jaba Bregvadze will become the first player from the country to play at the Super Rugby competition, promoted as the leading club tournament of the Southern Hemisphere.

Bregvadze, 30, was announced as a latest pick for the Sunwolves team, set to represent Japan in the 2018 season of the sporting event.

The former Worcester Warriors player will join the new team starting January 1 and play a full season for the Tokyo-based club that debuted in Super Rugby last year.

Launched in 1986, the competition is run by the SANZAAR (South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby) rugby body and involves clubs from the four countries plus Japan.

The clubs pick the best players from the national championships of relevant countries and field the rosters for the international tournament.

Bregvadze has been picked by Sunwolves for the hooker position after he was recommended by Georgia's head coach Milton Haig to his counterpart for the Japanese team, Jamie Joseph.

Commenting on the news, the Georgian player spoke of the importance of physical preparation ahead of the start of the 2018 Super Rugby season, noting the championship's expected higher pace compared to his experience in the English Premiership.

Bregvadze has played 49 matches in the Georgian national team and represented the country at the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups.