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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 23
Estonian Centrist Party nominates former advisor to Mikheil Saakashvili as presidential candidate

The Estonian Centrist Party has nominated Indrek Tarand, former advisor to Mikheil Saakashvili, as a presidential candidate, Regnum reports.

Tarand is a former chancellor of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is currently a member of the European Parliament.

Indrek Tarand has been an official advisor to Mikheil Saakashvili on political reforms since 2007 at the same time as working as an employee of the Ministry of Defence of Estonia. (Interpressnews)

Professional training courses for convicts

Courses of professional training will be conducted at Georgia`s prisons - the penitentiary system is already working to introduce the new program.

Yesterday, the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Khatuna Kalmakhelidze signed an agreement with the government of Norway, which takes responsibility to arrange the required infrastructure in Georgian prisons. At the beginning, the prisoners will be offered professional courses in accounting, business management and foreign languages. (Rustavi 2)

Economic Minister attends International Air Show in Paris

Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Vera Kobalia is in Paris. The Minister is attending the International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, which is hosting more than 2,100 international exhibitors. The International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget will offer its 138,000 professional visitors and 200,000 general public visitors a unique experience.

The Minister has met with authorities of the transport sector and aviation companies from various countries introducing Georgia as a country, which is implementing significant reforms in the transport sphere. However, the French side has shown its interest in various other spheres within Georgia as well, such as tourism. The representatives of the Federation of National Parks of France have introduced a well-adopted model of care for protected areas. The model was adopted very effectively in France as well other countries (Rustavi 2)

Government announces amnesty on halted constructions

The government is announcing an amnesty on unfinished constructions. The new draft law has been elaborated to facilitate the completion of stalled constructions in the country. According to the document, the development companies, which violated the terms and deadlines of the construction projects and were fined with triple amount of fines, will be free if they submit new terms and deadlines of the projects at the Tbilisi Service of Architecture within three months.

In case the companies fail to agree new details of new projects with the aforementioned office, the amnesty will no longer refer to their constructions and they will be obliged to pay the fines.

The draft law will be discussed at the Sector Economy Committee of the parliament. (Rustavi 2)

Two arrested for smuggling

The Department of the Ministry of Finance has arrested members of an organized crime gang - Mirian Makharadze and Merab Tsetskhladze on suspicion of smuggling across Georgia`s economic border.

According to the investigation, Makharadze offered a deal to a citizen of Georgia to assist him import car parts and textile products from Turkey by avoiding the customs procedures. He travelled to Turkey, where he produced counterfeit invoices and managed to cross the Georgia-Turkey border with the help of another detainee, Merab Tsetskhladze.

The officers detained both suspects in the moment when they were taking the promised 2,500 GEL from the citizen.

A preliminary investigation is underway; the detainees will be charged under article N214, which carries a 3-5 year sentence. (GHN)

Two injured in blast at cheese factory in Telavi

Two people were injured in the blast at the cheese factory in the village of Kurdghelauri, Telavi district. The injured workers have been transferred to hospital, where they were provided with first aid. Doctors say their health condition is now stable.

According to the preliminary reports, the blast was caused by a technical disorder in the factory machinery.

The police have launched a criminal case on the incident and an investigation is in progress. (Rustavi 2)