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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 1
Georgian Patriarchate delegation invited to Russia

A five man delegation from the Patriarch`s administration left for Moscow on Sunday. The delegation was invited to the Russian capital by the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The leader of the Zugdidi and Tsaishi Eparchy, Father Gerasime, leads the Georgian delegation. Former Ambassador of Georgia to Russia Zurab Abashidze is accompanying the religious leaders.

Father Gerasime said before his departure that they would discuss relations between the Georgian and Russian Orthodox Churches and the resumption of services in Georgian churches on the occupied territories. “We’ll discuss relations between the two Churches and the repatriation of clergy to the occupied regions,” Father Gerasime said, though adding that the Georgian delegation did not expect that negotiations on these issues would be easy.

Zurab Abashidze said that the meeting of the two Patriarchs and their delegations would take place on July 1. (Rustavi 2)

PM presents new package of financial activities

Prime Minister Nika Gilauri presented a new financial stimulus package at the Hotel Muza today. The PM stated that this had been prepared by the Georgian Government, the National Bank, the Tbilisi municipality and development companies.

The first point of the document outlines the cooperation plan between the Government and development companies previously presented by the Tbilisi Mayor. This stipulates that the Government will act as a bank guarantor for the construction companies. The second point implies the return of unused funds in the banks and private companies to the state economy.

The third point says that the Government will ask international financial institutions to provide additional credit packages to the Georgian banking sector. The fourth stipulates a reduction in the coefficient of banking assets from 1.75 to 1.5 per cent, which will provide over 700 million GEL in extra resources for the banks.

The fifth point states that the Government will use a new instrument to insure the country against currency fluctuations - the currency swap mechanism, which insures currency rate risks for commercial banks and will help them to attract more funds from foreign countries.

The PM said the new package of financial activities would help the private sector finish suspended construction works and start new projects. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party accuses Tbilisi Mayor of illegal activities

The Georgian Labour Party has demanded the prosecution of the Mayor of Tbilisi. At a briefing yesterday Kakha Dzagania said that Gigi Ugulava was one of the worst figures in Georgian politics, who terrorises people and imposes restrictions on everything.

“Ugulava controls 90% of the construction companies in the capital and all of them are registered in the name of his relatives,” Dzagania said, calling upon the Mayor to “help the population and assist creditors who have their houses sold from under them instead of indulging in criminal activities.” Dzagania urged the Government to prosecute the Tbilisi Mayor. (Rustavi 2)

NDP calls on politicians to express their foreign policy priorities

The National Democratic Party of Georgia has called upon all political parties in Georgia to express their foreign policy ideas publicly. Bachuki Kardava, the leader of the party, says this is necessary in the light of the aggressive Russian policy. According to Kardava, the holding of military exercises on the other side of Georgia’s northern border is a deliberate political act by Russia aiming at destroying the state of Georgia.

Bachuki Kardava asserts that Russia may not only conduct military aggression against Georgia, but interfere in its internal politics. The National Democrats are urging the Government and the opposition parties to prevent the flow of Russian money into Georgian business and politics. (Rustavi 2)