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The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 2
Abducted man released

Ramaz Makasarashvili, abducted from the village of Perevi by Russian occupiers two days ago, has been released. According to the Russians Makasarashvili, a bus driver detained at the Perevi checkpoint on 29 November for disobedience, has been handed over to the Georgian side.

After release Makasarashvili was debriefed at the Intelligence Department in Gori. (Interpressnews)

Russian experts not allowed into Georgia

Two Russian experts has not been allowed to enter Georgia, Interpressnews was told by the Georgian Experts’ Club. The experts arrived at Tbilisi International Airport from Yerevan.

The experts were the Senior Researcher of the Centre for Caucasian Studies of Moscow State Institute of International Relations Nikolai Silaev and the Director of the State Archive of the Russian Federation Sergei Mironenko. After the incident, three other members of the experts’ group - Deputy Director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations Vladimir Baranovsky, Senior Scientist-Researcher of the Scientific Information and Social Science Institute of the Russian Science Academy Alexander Miller and the Rector's Advisor of Moscow International Relations State Institute Artiom Malgin refused to enter Georgia too. They returned to Russia via Yerevan.

The group of Russian experts had been due to hold meetings at the Experts Club and Russian Research Centre in Tbilisi on 1-3 December. Nikolai Silaev had said before leaving Moscow that the theme of the meetings would not only be Georgian-Russian relations but also perspectives for cooperation between Georgian and Russian experts. (Interpressnews)

Mikheil Saakashvili – construction of swimming pools has begun in Georgia

After fountains the construction of swimming pools has begun in Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili said while visiting the construction of a swimming pool complex in the Isani-Samgori district.

The President said that it is important that the swimming pool be available for ordinary people living in the suburbs and that some allowances be granted to socially vulnerable people to enable them to use it. The business must also remain profitable, he added.

The construction of the swimming pool, employing 100 people, started a month ago after the allocation of a cheap loan worth 1 mln GEL to Georgian company Artess. The complex will include several swimming pools, training, wrestling and other kinds of sport halls. (Interpressnews)

MP Davitaia objects to construction of new road to Abkhazia

Parliament Vice Speaker Paata Davitaia objects to the construction of a new highway from the Russian Federation to Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia and has called upon the Government to take urgent measures to stop it.

Davitaia announced at the Parliament session yesterday that Moscow plans to construct a new road from Kabardino-Balkaria to Sokhumi. He said that the Russian Vice Premier and Minister of Transport were planned to arrive in Abkhazia today.

Davitaia said that the road posed many threats. "It will be the road Russia will transport weapons to the Black Sea along. This will be a new road for drug-trafficking and other crimes which Russia wants to carry out unofficially," Paata Davitaia said. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party demonstrates outside Ministry of Health Care

Labour Party leaders and their supporters have held a rally outside the Ministry of Health and Social Care and demanded the fulfilment of the Government's promises on reforming the healthcare sector.

Soso Shatberashvili, Paata Jibladze and Giorgi Gugava recalled the programmes the Government has launched but not implemented. These include 100 New Hospitals, Cheap Insurance and others. Labour Party leaders also condemned plans to sell off the central hospital and other polyclinics and demanded free medical care for the vulnerable and a free maternity service.

The protestors tried to enter the Ministry office but the guards would not let them. Afterwards an official met the protestors and promised to organise a meeting with the Minister in a few days. (Rustavi 2)

British Council seminar on developing an Employer Engagement Manual

On 30 November and 1 December, within the framework of the Skills@Work project, the British Council organised a working seminar on the development a draft manual for successful cooperation between vocational colleges and the business sector. A UK expert provided recommendations and expertise for developing the manual which will include successful case studies of vocational education-business cooperation and also provide relevant recommendations on the issue.

Ministry of Education and Science representatives and several vocational training college directors and business sector representatives participated in the meeting. UK expert George Pittaway, who has an extensive international experience of working on these kind of projects, led the seminar. (The Messenger)