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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 7
MPs comment on return of GEL 80 million to Ivanishvili

Lawmakers have commented on the decision of the Georgian Government to return 80 million GEL to Bidzina Ivanishvili, which he paid into the state budget before the parliamentary elections. Ivanishvili was sanctioned with 80 million for alleged violations and vote-buying, but he said he was transferring the money to the state budget for assisting the disaster-affected Kakheti region`s population. Majority members say the sanction was illegal and it was absolutely the correct decision to return the money to its owner.

"It was money taken away from Ivanishvili by Saakashvili forcefully and it did not belong to Saakashvili, the government or the tax offices. This money should be returned to its legal owner and now Ivanishvili will make a decision on how to appropriate it," MP Giorgi Tsagareishvili said.

Another MP from the majority, Zurab Tkemaladze, says that everybody knew that Ivanishvili was sanctioned illegally and such a fine was unimaginable.

"Now we all know that this money has been returned to Ivanishvili and naturally, he will appropriate it according to his will," Tkemaladze said. (Rustavi 2)

Adjara municipal authorities accuse government head of pressure

Adjara's self-governments complain about pressure from the new head of the Adjara Government, Archil Khabadze. Governors of the Khulo, Shuakhevi, Keda, Khelvachauri and Kobuleti municipalities made a joint statement about this pressure after the meeting with Khabadze. They assert Khabadze told all of them to resign from their positions, arguing it was an instruction he took from the leaders of the ruling coalition Georgian Dream. The governors say the motive of the instructions was a change of self-governments. The chairperson of the Batumi City Assembly says he was also given the same instruction. However, Archil Khabadze denies the allegations, asserting the resignation would be useless because the new governors should be elected by the same municipal authorities. (Rustavi 2)

Nora Kvitsiani Released from Prison

Emzar Kvitsianiís sister, Nora Kvitasiani, has been released from prison. Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Sozar Subari, released five women during his visit at N5 Rustavi prison, including Nora Kvitsiani.

Subari told InterPressNews that Kvitsiani was innocent and was serving time for nothing. The Minister states that Nora Kvitsiani was held accountable instead of her brother and son.

Subri told journalists that his chief advisor will be Lali Moroshkina. Subari stated that Moroshkina has been actively involved in issues of human rights and prisoners and she knows what happens in the penitentiary system and she can provide important advice to the minister and the office of the ministry too. (IPN)

Poti Port managers met with employees on strike

The Poti Port administration has launched negotiations with its port employs, which have been on strike over the past few days. The negotiations lasted over four hours. However, the sides failed to agree on the issue of a salary increase. About 70% of the port employs refuse to work until their salaries are increased and working conditions improved. The protestors are also demanding contracts before returning to work.

"A final agreement has not been reached. The most serious problem is the issue of salaries. However, the APM management has promised to begin working on the issue from tomorrow. As for the problems of sanitation and working conditions, the sides have almost agreed about this," Head of the Marine-Transport Agency Mamuka Akhaladze said. (Rustavi 2)

Finance Minister meets with IDPs

The Minister of Finance of Georgia has met with IDPs and promised to provide assistance to them. The meeting was held Monday night. The IDPs went to the minister to ask for a 50% increase in assistance to them. Nodar Khaduri promised that his office would begin to work on the issue of monetary assistance to the IDPs intensively in the middle of 2013.

Along with the increase in allowances, the IDPs are also demanding the allocation of rooms to them. According to official data, 55,000 IDP families have no permanent residences. (Rustavi 2)

Young man murdered in Tbilisi

A young man was killed in Tbilisi`s district of Avlabari Monday night. 22 year-old Giorgi Mamardashvili was found murdered with several bullets in his forehead by unidentified persons. Neighbors say they learned about the murder only after the police arrived, but earlier they did not hear the sound of gunshots.

Patrol police and criminal experts were working at the scene whole night. Traffic was blocked for a few hours while the police were inspecting the territory. (Rustavi 2)