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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 22
President: Terrorism is a disease that can be defeated by joint efforts

“President Giorgi Margvelashvili expressed his condolences over the terrorist attacks that took place in Ankara and Berlin, as well as in Zurich,” Presidential Spokesperson Eka Mishveladze said at a press conference.

According to the President, attacks on innocent people and diplomats are unacceptable, and should be unilaterally condemned by the civilized world.

"First of all, we would like to respond to the shocking incidents around the world. The President expresses his condolences over the terrorist attacks in Ankara and Berlin, as well as the Zurich incident. Terrorism is a disease that can be defeated by joint efforts. The President expresses condolences to the families of the victims," said Mishveladze. (IPN)

Central Bank Sells USD 40 Million

The National Bank of Georgia sold USD 40 million at a foreign currency auction on December 20 to support the lari (GEL), Georgia’s national currency.

Despite the intervention, the GEL fell again and reached 2.7831 against USD on Tuesday. The GEL was trading at 2.7412 against dollar a day earlier. Exchange kiosks in Tbilisi were selling one dollar for about GEL 2.81-2.82 as of Tuesday.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the National Bank said that the reason for the lari’s recent depreciation against the U.S. dollar is the combination of fundamental factors (the current strength of the USD and depreciation of the Turkish Lira) and expectations. It also noted that despite the fundamental factors, the current exchange rate depreciated by more than what rational expectations would suggest.

The National Bank last intervened on the currency market on October 12. Since then, the Georgian currency has lost 19% of its value against dollar.

Since the start of 2016, the NBG sold a total of USD 280 million and bought USD 278.35 million in 24 currency market interventions.

Gross international reserves stood at USD 2.779 billion as of November, up from USD 2.760 billion a month earlier and from USD 2.479 billion a year earlier. (

18th and 19th Century books stolen from Georgia’s National Library

Police in Georgia arrested a man on Wednesday for stealing two historical books from the National Library the day before.

The 64-year-old person is accused of stealing books date back to the 18th and 19th Century, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) wrote in a statement.

MIA did not specify which books were stolen or describe the detainee in more detail, but stated that in order to cover up his crime, the man left behind two other books in the library.

The accused pleaded guilty during questioning by police.

He may be jailed from six to nine years for violation of the Criminal Code, article 183. (DF watch)

Alpine skier Iason Abramashvili wins gold in FIS race

Georgian skier Iason Abramashvili finished first among nearly 40 international athletes in an International Ski Federation (FIS) race in Turkey's top winter resort on Monday.

Abramashvili won first place in two men's slalom races at Erzurum-Palandoken resort at the December 18 and 19 competition.

The Georgian skier finished ahead of local favourite Serdar Deniz on both days of racing.

Results of the December 18 race were eligible for FIS points, which meant Abramashvili collected 55 points for his win. In the December 19 slalom the Georgian skier finished nearly six seconds ahead of second-placed Deniz.

The slalom race featured 37 athletes for each of the two days of competition, including three from Georgia.

Lasha Kurtanidze finished 18th on Sunday, improving to 6th on December 19.

The third member of the Georgian ski team, Giorgi Kurtanidze, finished 15th in the first race but did not finish his first run on the second day.

The slalom course started at an altitude of 2,352 metres above sea level and finished at 2,172 metres.

For Abramashvili, the Erzurum-Palandoken resort has been a fruitful course; there the Georgian skier claimed three victories in another race earlier this year. (