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Compiled by Eter Tsotniashvili
Tuesday, July 1
“85 percent of Tbilisi street vendors are inside the marketplace”

Akhali Taoba reports that most formally unlicensed street vendors who were chased off in a police crackdown are now working in designated market areas, with the city’s support:

“85 percent of Tbilisi street vendors have been taken inside marketplaces. According to the press center of Tbilisi City Hall, the City Hall program to develop marketplaces and create a convenient place for street vendors is continuing.

City Hall has given each street vendor a special card and after presenting it at the marketplaces they can receive six months’ free rent for a space to trade. At Tbilisi City Hall’s initiative every street vendor who registered in the marketplaces to continue trading can use the cards until the end of 2008. City Hall will cover their payments.”

“Emzar Kvitsiani’s statement”

Kviris Palitra reports that Russian news agencies have released a statement from Georgian rebel warlord Emzar Kvitiani, in which he offers to turn himself in to Georgian authorities:

“Russian news agencies released Emzar Kvitsiani’s statement in which he promised to go to the police if his sister Nora Kvitsiani is released from jail.

The ruling majority dismissed the offer and described it as a trade. The head of parliament’s defense and security committee, Givi Targamadze, said everyone is responsible for their own actions.

‘We are not living in the Middle Ages where someone is exchanged for someone else,’ Targamadze said.”

“Privatization of Georgian Railway protested”

Kviris Palitra carries comments from Conservative Party member Bidzina Gujabidze on the planned privatization of the state rail network, Georgian Railway:

“Conservative Bidzina Gujabidze protests the privatization of Georgian Railway and claims that a clan [of government officials] wants to own it.

The destruction of Georgian Railway is continuing. According to him [former director general of Georgian Railway Irakli] Ezugbaia left the Georgian Railway but now in place of him there are clans of [President Mikheil] Saakashvili, [former prime minister Zurab] Noghaideli, [Defense Minister Davit] Kezerashvili and [Tbilisi Mayor Gigi] Ugulava.

‘They want the railway to be sold to the Russians, we have sent some materials to the Prosecutor General’s Office but have not yet had an answer from them,’ Gujabidze said.

Gujabidze added that the railway is the backbone of the country and must not be sold.

‘We have information that Russians are interested in buying this strategic asset and soon we’ll hear they have bought the Georgian railways,’ he said.”