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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 21
Georgian President, Prime Minister of Thailand discuss bilateral relations

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili discussed issues of bilateral relations with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra. During the discussion, special attention was paid to the non-recognition of the breakaway Georgian territories. The President of Georgia said after his meeting with Yingluck Shinawatra that he intends to take strong action to prevent the recognition of the breakaway regions of Georgia– Abkhazia and South Ossetia, by other countries in the world.

The parties also discussed economic cooperation. Saakashvili and Shinawatra touched on the 20-year experience of diplomatic relations between the two countries and expressed the need for deepening them. As noted in the administration, Mikheil Saakashvili will take part in the Second Asia Pacific Summit. Some 2,000 high-ranking officials from 37 countries in the region will attend the summit.

Former General Director of JSC Georgian Railways accused of embezzling public funds

Tbilisi City Court sentenced the former General Director of JSC Georgian Railways Irakli Ezugbaia in absentia to pre-trial detention for a period of two months as a temporary measure of restriction. According to Ezugbaia's lawyer, the defendant is currently in the UK for study, and intends to return to Georgia after considering the court's decision. The lawyer said the court decision will be challenged in the Court of Appeal. It should be noted that seven former employees of JSC Georgian Railway who were also involved in this case, have been released on bail.

The Investigation Service of the Georgian Ministry of Finance accuses Ezugbaia of the embezzlement and misappropriation of a large amount of public funds. In addition to him, Director of Freight Service of Georgian Railways, David Jinjolia; his deputy, Abel Giorgobiani; Deputy Chief of the Department, George Zhgenti; founder of the company Vagonostroitel, Valery Tsilosani; as well as General Director, Irakli Todua, Directors Mamuka Dolidze and Vladimir Abuladze.

According to the investigators, Georgian Railways and the company Vagonostroitel signed five agreements in 2008, according to which Georgian Railways artificially increased the cost of repair of a carriage in the amount of $39,000, although the real market cost of the repair of a carriage is 31,000 lari. Therefore, they caused damages to Georgian Railways totaling 65 million lari.

The investigation is underway under part 3 of Article 182 of the Georgian Criminal Code, which envisages imprisonment from seven to 11 years.

Ferroalloy factory employees go on strike in Zestafoni

Ferroalloy factory employees went on strike in the Zestafoni, Imereti region of Georgia.

The factory was paralyzed. The large-scale strike was launched with the demand to increase payments at 09:00. Hundreds of people took part in the strike. The strikers are demanding a 50 % pay increase and signing of the project agreed on between the parties. The ferroalloy factory employees also held a warning strike on 16 May.

People's Assembly appeals to the extra-parliamentary opposition to support Nino Burjanadze’s presidential candidacy

The People's Assembly has appealed to the extra-parliamentary opposition, the public and all of of Georgia to support Nino Burjanadze’s presidential candidacy.

"Today, as never before, our country needs an experienced politician and a president with steady principles and international authority for the restoration of justice, the establishment of civil peace, balancing the government and for protection of public interests and our international reputation. Nino Burjanadze has all these properties. We appeal to the extra-parliamentary opposition, the public and the whole of Georgia to support Nino Burjanadze’s election as president. We expect that competitive and fair elections will be held in Georgia," the statement says.

Prime Minister meets with Brazilian businessmen

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili met with Brazilian businessmen. Georgia-Brazil future cooperation was discussed at the meeting, the PM’s press service told InterpressNews. The talks were held at Bidzina Ivanishvili’s business center. The Brazilian businessmen will also meet representatives of Georgia’s Partnership Fund.

UNM MP says new government lacks knowledge of statehood issues

Member of the parliamentary minority, Davit Darchiashvili, commented on the fact that MPs of the opposition had not been invited at the ceremony devoted to Police Day. "The new government has a very low knowledge regarding statehood,” Darchiashvili said at a press conference at the Frontnews press club.

"This was not a party event, this was Police Day and the opposition should have been invited at the ceremony devoted to this event. It is obvious that the new government has a very low knowledge on statehood,” Darchiashvili said.
(Front News)

Three New MPs Join Parliament

Parliament confirmed on May 17 the credentials of three new lawmakers from the Georgian Dream coalition, who won the MP by-elections in three majoritarian single mandate constituencies last month.

Tamar Kordzaia won the race in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi district with 39.48% of votes and two others, Giorgi Kakhiani and Paata Kiknavelidze, won landslide victories in Samtredia and the Bagdati constituencies, respectively, with 80.94% and 61.81% of votes.

The Georgian Dream parliamentary majority group now has 86 MPs in the 150-seat Parliament.

UNM has 53 members and the remaining 11 seats are occupied by those MPs who have quit UNM following the October, 2012 elections. A total of 12 lawmakers quit the UNM with one of them joining the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority.

Georgian victim of prostitution appeals to Turkish police

A Georgian girl, who went to Turkey for a holiday, appealed to police to escape from prostitution, the Turkish media says. As the girl told the Turkish police that she was forced to be a prostitute by two men at the hotel. However, after refusing, she was beaten. The girl was examined at the hospital. Some signs of violence were discovered on her body.

The suspects are wanted by the police.