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The News in Brief

Friday, May 4
Prime Minister of Georgia Urges Population to Observe Smoking Ban

The head of the Georgian government, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili called on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry out control on execution of the tobacco regulations, which entered into force only three days ago.

“The new law on tobacco control came into force on May 1st. Georgia is becoming the leading country in this region in regards to tobacco use. In Georgia, the number of tobacco-related deaths is 22% and 10% in the world. This is a catastrophic rate. I urge the population and ask them to understand this law. We have to protect our citizens from tobacco smoke, especially children. I call upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs to carry out an effective control on execution of the law,” the PM said.

Tobacco ban prohibits smoking in buildings with the exception of houses, psychiatric clinics, penitentiary facilities and casinos. Smoking of cigars is only allowed in cigar-bars where food products must not be sold.

Moreover, smoking ban applies to electronic cigarettes and Hookah as well, which are not allowed in restaurants and bars. Legal entities, which violate the ban and let people smoke in closed buildings, will be fined GEL 500 and if repeated, the fine will be doubled. As for ordinary citizens, in case of violations, they will face GEL 50 fine but if repeated, they will be fined 100 GEL.

In case of smoking at public transport, the violator will be fined 100 GEL.

Tbilisi Metro Workers don’t Go on Strike

Tbilisi Metro workers decided to not go on strike on Thursday, as they had announced before. The employees demand increased salaries and better working conditions.

The representatives of metro workers Trade Union -Unity 2013 explained that their employer Tbilisi Transport Company was given a 30-day deadline to reach a consensus on the issue. Otherwise, the Metropolitan staff will strike 30 days later.

They also reported that Tbilisi Transport Company contacted old employees of the metropolitan, some of which were fired several years ago and offered to replace the current workers. The employees believe this might be dangerous for the passengers, due to the fact that the system has been modernized and the current staff has undergone special trainings.

Earlier last month, metro workers addressed the Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, demanding the appointment of a mediator, which resulted into a mediation process.

Several days ago Unity 2013 held a meeting at the Mayor’s Office and with their employer company; however, they were refused a raise.

Kaladze called on the metro employees to stop the ultimatum, adding the metro will not stop functioning.

"Many meetings were held in the City Hall, where we explained them the reality and economic situation in the municipality. We explained them that it was impossible to satisfy their demand”, he said.

The mayor stated that the City Halls aims at improving working and financial conditions of all people living and employed in Tbilisi.

“I am well aware of the work of these people, but the attitude, the approaches we've heard over the last days from them, are totally unacceptable,” Kaladze said.
(Prepared by Mariam Chanishvili)