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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, November 16
Free Democrats foresee the threat of social blow in the country

“The Government constantly declares that social welfare and education is their priority, though a number of issues are reduced in the proposed budget for the current year. There is no increase in this area next year either; in terms of the high level of inflation and hard social situation in the country. There should be clear steps stipulated in the budget - that is the only document to consider these problems of the population. In addition, according to official statistics there are 1.8 million socially vulnerable people registered in the country,” stated representative of Free Democrats David Onoprishvili in an interview with Rezonansi. He also said, “Georgia has never had such a level of inflation as in October and this means that the level will increase in these two months”

“It’s completely unacceptable that pension amount won’t be adopted by the budget from next year and the decision will be made by Government resolution. As the pension amount is rendered by law, this should be guaranteed by law and the increase should be considered as well. The pension issue needs complete reform. An incorrect decision has been made, leaving it all under government control. From a liberal viewpoint, the pension system remained without any kind of reform and pensioners’ last hope that their pension will ever be increased has been suppressed. Moreover, inflation last year was 6-7%; this year it has exceeded 10% and prices are still increasing. It means that the socially vulnerable will be left without essential products – as the pension won’t be enough to buy them. Prices are increasing and the pension stays the same. It’s worth considering that the lowest pension in post Soviet countries is in Georgia, apart from Tajikistan,” remarked Onoprishvili to the correspondent.

Fire in Georgian forests

Fire fighting continues in the forests of Georgia, according to the Head of Forest Agency of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Georgia, Papuna Khachidze, 24 Hours reports.

Efforts are in progress in 3 different areas. In Baghdadi forest 20-25 hectares of land is burning; the same size area is burning in Tianeti and over 30-35 hectares of territory has been burnt in Telavi. According to Papuna Khachidze, fire spreads easily through fallen leaves in the forests. The cause of fire is still unknown.

Helicopters were used in Telavi and Baghdadi forest areas to extinguish the fires; in Tianeti fire fighting is being led by Rangers and local residents.

The Head of Forest Agency hopes the fire will be contained by the end of the day in all regions.

The situation is also critical in Tianeti district where the locals and brigades have been fighting fires in the village of Tetrakhevi during the past four days. The disaster has spread over 25-30 hectares of woods. The problem for fire fighters is the same here - hard landscape. The fire threatens the forests in bordering Dusheti district, but the fire fighters think they will soon extinguish the fire.

The fire brigades have also been sent to Kazbegi district; the fire, which spread from the Sno Gorge, spread on the Koselta and Karkucha gorges; locals are involved in the fire fighting operations.

The brigades of Interior Ministry have joined the fire-fighting in the Baghdati district, Imereti Region; they are fighting the disaster from helicopters to localize the fire, which has already burnt 17 hectares of woods.