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Compiled by Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday September 30
70% of pupils do not have schoolbooks

General Secretary of the Georgian Labour Party Ioseb Shatberashvili has presented an itemised list of the funds a pupil needs to buy a school bag and textbooks, Sakartvelos Respublika writes.

According to Shatberashvili’s budget a complete set of textbooks for 10-12 classes costs about GEL 150, and the average price of a bag is GEL 40-50, and it is very hard for a pupil to afford such prices.

“70% of pupils have met the new school term without textbooks. Their parents do not have enough income to pay the GEL 200 needed for all the books. Some families have 2-3 children which makes the situation even harder,” Shatberashvili stated at a briefing on September 28.

Shatberashvili said that the President’s son and the children of other members of the authorities do not have such problems. “Saakashvili’s son and the children of senior State officials study at the American Academy where one year’s study costs USD 20,000. They do not have this problem, but it is very bad that they do not care about other children, who cannot buy necessary textbooks,” Shatberashvili said.

Labour believes that one solution to this problem would be to create libraries, from which all pupils will be able to borrow the books they need.

Why did Subari make no statement about the detention of Beselia’s relatives?

Leader of the Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia has assessed former Ombudsman Sozar Subari’s move to the Alliance for Georgia and complained about one aspect of his performance in his previous role, Alia writes.

“I do have one regret about Subari. When he was still Ombudsman I gave him the materials about the detention of my family members - for political reasons my son and brother have been detained - and asked Subari to draw a conclusion after studying them, but he did not make a statement. Maybe at first he could not find the time to make such a statement, but when he did not even answer my phone calls I realised that not doing so was a political choice,” Beselia says.

Subari has responded by explaining that he had given the materials to one of his staff as soon as he had received them and that they had been examined. “When I see Eka I will explain the details. When my colleague finished studying the case study they found that they knew someone on the opposite side in this case. Therefore I considered that the conclusion they drew might have been subjective and as there was no time to consider it further I asked Giorgi Tughushi (Subari’s successor) to give this case to someone who had no relation to anyone on either side. A lawyer is presently studying this case, but that is the reason drawing a conclusion has been prolonged,” Subari said.

Abkhazia changes phone codes

Rezonansi reports that Abkhazia has changed its international dialing code. Until now Abkhazia has had a Georgian code, but it plans to start using a Russian code in the near future.

A memorandum about this has already been concluded between Russia and the separatists. Russia has two dialing codes: 840 for landlines and 940 for cellphones. Georgian officials have not yet made a special statement about this issue.