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The News in Brief

Monday, May 10
First civilised debates held

For the first time in Georgia’s modern history five different political party representatives have held a debate on live TV without interrupting each other and fitting their statements into the time available without the presenter giving one of them preference. Eka Mishveladze, anchor of the Debates show on the Second Channel on Saturday evening, did her job brilliantly, moderating the show in a friendly and welcoming manner, allowing all five participants, Irakli Alasania, Gia Chanturia, Zviad Dzidziguri, Gogi Topadze and Gigi Ugulava, an equal possibility to express their opinion on the acute problems the Tbilisi population is currently concerned with. Each of them expressed their vision of what they would do if elected Tbilisi Mayor, making promises about what should and could be done.

The final comment of Zvad Dzidziguri was an appeal to Tbilisi citizens to vote as this is the only way left to change the current administration. ”Please come and vote for anybody but the National Movement,” Dzidziguri said.
(The Messenger)

Saakashvili attends inauguration of Costa Rica's new President

The Georgian President has visited Costa Rica for the inauguration of new President Laura Chinchilla in San Jose. Mikheil Saakashvili was the only Head of State from outside the Americas invited.

At the inauguration the Georgian President sat between heir to the Spanish throne Crown Prince Felipe and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. Mikheil Saakashvili also had dinner meetings with the new President of Costa Rica, the Presidents of Honduras and Guatemala and many other Heads of State.

The Guatemalan President recently visited Moscow, where he was urged to recognise Georgia`s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Moscow has been working intensively on this issue, although the only regional countries to have recognised the regions are Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Prior to Saakashvili`s visit to Costa Rica a Georgian delegation had toured the region, establishing extensive diplomatic ties and exchanges. A few days before President Medvedev was also known to have been touring the region. Local observers however noted that after the Russians (led by Speaker of the Russian Parliament Boris Gryzlov) heard of Saakashvili`s attendance in a particular place they refrained from travelling there.

The object of the Georgian President's trip to the Americas was to establish ties and diplomatic relations. Two new Georgian Embassies, in Brazil and Mexico, will open.

All conversations between the various Heads of State and Mikheil Saakashvili were conducted in Spanish.
(Rustavi 2)

Goga Khachidze meets residents of Kvareli region

Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Goga Khachidze has met the population of Kakheti affected by recent natural disasters. The Minister observed the present situation before inspecting the dam strengthening works in the villages of Eniseli and Satskhenisi. The Minister said that more such work would be undertaken in the near future and be finished by the end of the current year.

Incessant rain has inflicted serious damage on Kakheti. The overflowing of the banks of the River Shoriskhevi inflicted damage and destroyed houses. The flooding River Intsoba in Eniseli ruined the road and vehicle bridge there. GEL 300,000 will be allocated from the state budget for rehabilitation and reconstruction work.
(Prime News)

Energo-Pro Georgia begins individual re-metering in Surami

Energo-Pro Georgia has launched individual re-metering work in Surami. Modern individual meters will be installed for 1,772 subscribers. GEL 531,600 has been allocated for this.

Minister of Energy Aleksandre Khetaguri and representatives of the company attended the re-metering process on May 7. Amortized cables have been entirely replaced by new wires and wooden poles by new iron and concrete poles. Energo-Pro Georgia has also undertaken power distribution network rehabilitation.

By the end of July of the current year JSC Energo-Pro Georgia plans to re-meter 60,669 customers as part of this project. It has already re-metered 350,000 customers. In three years the individual re-metering of the whole of Georgia will be complete.
(Prime News)

Asian Development Bank to allocate USD 500 million for water provision

The Asian Development Bank will allocate USD 500 million to ensure water provision in Georgia's urban centres.

The bank will allocate USD 500 mln for the construction and rehabilitation of water systems. Marneuli is the first town to be granted a tranche of funds in this connection.

Specialists hired by the Asian Development Bank visited Marneuli on May 8 in order to observe the situation on site. A preliminary study of the prospects for a full rehabilitation of the Marneuli water system will also be conducted.
(Prime News)