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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Thursday, November 20
Georgian Patriarch advises the Government to create jobs

24 saati reports that at the liturgy in Sameba Cathedral Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II thanked his parishioners for praying for his health. He also gave some advice to Grigol Mgaloblishvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia, who was attending the liturgy.

"We are glad that the Prime Minster is in the cathedral today. I would like to say that despite his youth people already appreciate and trust him. Our first mission is to help people, not by giving them money or food but jobs. I have recently arrived from Germany where our Georgian people are suffering. Some have crossed the border illegally; others live with other people's passports. All of them are eager to return to their homeland but they say they can't come home without jobs," stated Ilia II.

The Prime Minister thanked the Patriarch for unifying the Georgian nation in times of difficulty. "The problem of unemployment mentioned by the Patriarch is really the burning issue in Georgia nowadays. The Patriarch can understand this as well as I. That's why the eradication of unemployment will be our main priority," Mgaloblishvili stated.

“Universities will be left without professors”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that Parliament will resolve the issue of establishing an upper age limit for university professors by the end of this year, and that the limit will by 65 years of age.

A question about this was raised by Gia Arsenishvili, Chairman of the Parliamentary Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee at its plenary session yesterday. Arsenishvili said that the establishment of the new limit in 2009 will lead to complications. Most universities would end up without professors, and the principle of an age limit is wrong in itself.

"A person shouldn't be banned from thinking simply because of his age," Arsenishvili stated, adding that the new law would create another problem, as according to it professors should be given a pension when they reach the age limit and the difference between their pension and nominal salary would have to be covered by the university.

TV chief enters politics to protest

24 saati reports that Giorgi Andriadze, the Head of the Iberia TV company, has entered politics to protest against the Government's refusal to give a TV frequency to the Patriarchate of Georgia.

"I've been left with no choice. The Patriarchate’s TV station might be closed. That's why I have decided to fight for the television station, as well as freedom of speech and the creation of independent television channel, by political means," Andriadze noted.

The National Christian Movement, blessed by the Patriarch of All Georgia, was established on February 8, 2008. Its members are public figures. Andriadze will have consultations with them along with other parties. "What we need now is a coalition. I will soon decide which political group to join. There are a great variety of political coalitions standing with us," Andriadze stated.