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The News in Brief

Monday, June 18
Patriarch of Georgia Demands cessation of Rehabilitation Work at Bagrati Temple

Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second demanded the cessation of rehabilitation work at Bagrati temple. Ilia the Second said at the Sunday service that he had already issued an order to stop the rehabilitation. He explains that the temple rehabilitation takes place without agreement with the patriarchate and it should be stopped immediately.

“Bagrati temple is a famous historic and cultural monument in the world and we should not touch it”, Ilia the Second said.

The Patriarch declared that the Patriarchate will hold a meeting with UNESCO representatives, builders who conduct rehabilitation work and the commission of the patriarchate will also take part in the meetings. According to sources, Bagrati temple doesn’t meet UNESCO demands any more. This is the preliminary assessment of the issue, which was discussed at the 36th session of cultural heritage committee of UNESCO.

According to the preliminary report prepared for the 36th session, UNESCO refused to Georgia’s rehabilitation plan and banned the rehabilitation work on Bagrati temple.

“Kutatel-gaenateli and metropolitan should know this and rehabilitation work should stop, until each detail is studied. Bagrati temple must not be removed from UNESCO's attention. I hope everything will end well and we’ll have the temple the way it’s necessary to us," Ilia the Second declared.

The Patriarch said that temples exist for church services and praying and not only as historic and cultural monuments. Ilia the Second said that the Bagrati temple related issues were discussed during his meeting with the UNESCO President in France.

Mikheil Saakashvili – Poti Industrial Zone Didn’t Live up to Our Expectations as we Hoped

The Poti Free Industrial zone, didn’t’ live up to our expectations as we hoped it would”, the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili said in Poti, during meeting the locals. He introduced them to several projects being carried out in the town. The President said that construction is under way, but still the main problem remains employment. “We have had success and failure. The success is that the business in general has increased. If the town was monopolized by one or two dragons before, and everything was theirs, and residents of Poti were outsiders, now the situation has changed, more business has been introduced, there is not a monopoly. The second problem is that the zone didn’t live up to our expectations. The factories are slowly being opened... almost nothing is opened. Small things have been done, but this is not enough,” Mikheil Saakashvili stated, adding that that’s why the investors were given additional allowances, including removing VAT.

Saakashvili spoke about the water and gas supply and told the locals that by 2015, the town will be provided with water 24 hours-a-day. He emphasized that there was no gas supply in Poti until 2011. “We started then to carry out the American program that I personally asked them for, and we built a high-pressure gas pipeline here. Poti has gas now; the main problem is to connect it to the houses. Saakashvili also spoke about repairing roofs, which is a problem for 90% of the locals and said that another million laris will be allotted for this.

Saakashvili Promised Refugees Their Own Apartments in his Presidential Term

President Mikheil Saakashvili promised all refugees their own apartments in his presidential term. The President made this declaration during his meeting with Poti locals. The President declared that the construction of compounds for IDPs will continue. He stated that up to 30, 000 apartments were built for refugees in Georgia in the last months and many more will be built.

“I know that the issue is always debated. They say that someone got the second and third apartments. I have seen these people, very indigent ones, and those too, who received their first apartment. If we missed something, this should be checked by everyone together, but all refugees will get accommodation in my presidential term in Georgia”, Saakashvili said. He declared that refugees will have a permanent living place and this is of fundamental importance.

Ilia the Second – the Issue of Reserve Officers Needs to be Studied at Schools

Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second considers that the issue of reserve officers at schools should be studied. The Patriarch said at the church service that church and school have a special responsibility and they have the responsibility of raising the new generation with love.

“We don’t give it attention. We have assigned these so-called reserve officers, supervisors to them. They don’t raise children, but turn them into those who denounce their teachers and friends. This issue needs to be studied. We can’t raise children with fear; they should only be raised with love and kind words. Thank you God, for we live in time when we have two spiritual academies and tens of spiritual schools. Thank you God for this”, Ilia the Second declared adding that this was unimaginative in the time of previous patriarchs.

Public Service Hall to be constructed in Zugdidi

A public service hall will be constructed in the town of Zugdidi in the Samegrelo region in the western part of the country. The Georgian president laid a special capsule into the foundation of the planned construction site yesterday.

The construction project has been taken on by Spanish architects. The facility with a capacity to serve about 800 people a day will be located on 3,200 square meters and will employ 100 people.

As reported, locals will be employed during the construction of the new public service hall. The construction will likely take one-year.
(Rustavi 2)