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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 26
Refugees whose income is above 1250 GEL will not receive payments

The Minister of Internally Displaced Persons, Davit Darakhvelidze, stated after the new government’s first cabinet meeting on November 25 that refugees whose income is above 1250 GEL will not receive monthly payments from the government. According to the minister, this change will take effect after the new bill on refugees is adopted.

“Amendments will be made to the tax code of Georgia. There will be a change made to the second part of the 33rd article of the tax code. As you know, the Ministry of Refugees is reviewing the refugee database. The new code on refugees is also ready which might increase refugees’ allowances with certain restrictions.” Darakhevelidze said.

Parliament expected to adopt 2014 state budget on December 19th

The government of Georgia will send a corrected version of the 2014 state budget to Parliament for approval this week. Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri has said that only several parts of the document have been corrected. The minister has not specified which parts of the budget will be changed.

“The priorities we have been talking about are the same. They are: healthcare, agriculture, and social services. Everything will be included in it. We are still working on the budget for 2014. We will only increase the budget.” Khaduri stated.
(Rustavi 2)

Ivanishvili awarded the Supreme Order of Justice

Former Prime Minister of Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili has been awarded the Supreme Order of Justice. The award is given once a year by the World Jurist Association (WJA) to one individual for their work for peace and justice.

WJA President Ben Griffith thanked Ivanishvili for what he has done to promote peace, justice and development. Ivanishvili said justice is very important for humanity, according to Ivanishvili’s press office.

Previous recipients of the award include former Pope John Paul II and the Queen of England.

After serving as prime minister for one year, Ivanishvili left office last week, saying he will go on to do work in the civil sector.
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgian Foreign Minister on official visit to Bulgaria

The Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze is holding meetings with Bulgarian officials on November 25th-26th. Panjikidze is meeting with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, Foreign Minister Christian Vigenin, and Speaker of the National Assembly Mihail Mikov.

During the official visit, both foreign ministers will sign a protocol for enhanced collaboration and consultation between the two countries’ foreign ministries. The Georgian foreign minister will hold a press conference together with her Bulgarian counterpart at the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria. During the visit, Maia Panjikidze will take part in cultural events at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia. A performance of the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet is planned.

Ossetians start tilling land on the territory under Georgia’s control

Agricultural vehicles appeared along the dividing line between Georgia and South Ossetia on Monday morning. The vehicles from South Ossetia began to till Georgian citizen Giorgi Khodeli’s land. Khodeli’s land is on territory under Georgian control.

According to Khodeli, a tractor driver told him he had been sent from a South Ossetian village, though the driver did not elaborate on who had sent him.

Giorgi Khodeli owns 32 hectares of land near the dividing line. He expects the Ossetians will continue till his land. He asks the Georgian government and international organizations for help. According to Khodeli, he and his family will be without income or livelihood if the situation continues.

Deputy Chief of Zugdidi Police found dead

A criminal case has been launched into the death of the deputy chief of the Zugdidi police force. An investigation is currently under way in what criminologists have described as a suicide. The exact cause of death has yet to be announced, however.