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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 2
Georgian Church against ratification of European Charter on Minority Languages

The Georgian Orthodox Church said on Sunday that ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was “unacceptable”.

“Discussions have been renewed recently about the European charter of regional and minority languages. We think the charter is unacceptable, because it will cause the strengthening of the separatist movements and the creation of new problems for the country,” says a written statement by Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II.

The statement also says that ratification of this Charter by the Parliament is “inadmissible” when the level of knowledge of the Georgian language among national minorities in Georgia remains low and before Georgia’s territorial integrity is not restored.

Georgia undertook the commitment to ratify the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 1999 upon joining the Council of Europe.

US Ambassador visits Batumi and Poti

On April 1- 3, US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, will visit Batumi and Poti. He will attend several public events and meet with media.

Richard Norland will open the Maritime Fusion Center in the village of Supsa. This center will improve maritime security of Georgia. The U.S. Government, through the State Departments Export Control and Related Border Security program, provided $1.2 million to fund the Maritime Fusion Center.

Richard Norland will visit the Container Control Group at the Customs Clearance Office to handover keys to a newly donated vehicle. The ambassador will also participate in a ribbon- cutting ceremony on EXBS funded Vessel Repair Facility, worth $6 million, on the Coast Guard Base in Poti.

The U.S. Government has provided over $12 million to enhance border security and maritime domain awareness in Georgia since 2006.
(Front News)

Presentation of advocacy network

On March 27, CiDA and CARE International of the Caucasus held a meeting in Gori with the refugees settled in Shida and Kvemo Kartli after the armed conflicts.

The meeting was held within the frames of the project “Stabilization and Integration of IDPs into Mainstream Georgian Society" (SIIMS). The project is being carried out by CiDA and CARE International through the assistance of the Norwegian government. During the project, an advocacy network has been launched in the refugees’ settlements. The aim of the network is advocating on behalf of the problems and requirements of the IDPs. The network members are the IDPs. One member from each settlement will work with the municipalities in solving their problems. During the meeting, priorities set by CARE International in the settlements and the results realized by CiDA were discussed. The problems the IDPs are facing and the ways of solving them were analyzed.

The next meeting is scheduled with the new leadership of the Gori municipality and representatives of the municipality commissions.
(The Messenger)

Former Chief of GPB News Service

Former Chief of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) News Service, Khatuna Berdzenishvili, has been appointed to the post of Krtsanisi District Governor. Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava officially introduced the newly appointed governor at Monday’s Tbilisi Government Session.

Berdzenishvili’s dismissal from her previous job was publicized March 1. She explained the decision provided by former Director General of the GPB Giorgi Baratashvili as beingssssss under political pressure.

IDFI says the President’s administration spent 3 million GEL on state procurements

According to the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), the president’s administration has spent 3 million GEL on state procurements from January 1, 2012 till January 31, 2013.

IDFI reports that 72, 294 GEL was spent on purchasing food service for guests to view the president’s palace.

There are 54 vehicles on the balance of the president’s administration and the administration used 712, 301 GEL in petrol and 68, 289 GEL in diesel.

From 20 October 2012, 15 people were employed in the president’s administration and 5 people were freelancers.

According to February 11, 2013 data, in total, 139 people are employed in the president’s administration, 5 are freelancers.

During this time, 69 employees resigned and 3 employees were dismissed in accordance with articles 97 and 103 of the Law on Civil Service.
(Front News)

Two Georgian ministers to attend World Economic Forum in Baku

Economy Minister George Kvirikashvili and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, David Narmania, will represent Georgia at the World Economic Forum (WEF), to be held in Baku on April 7-8, the Georgian Embassy in Azerbaijan told Trend news agency on Friday.

During the visit, the Georgian ministers will also hold a meeting with the Azerbaijani government to discuss bilateral cooperation issues.

The WEF will organize a forum on "Strategic Dialogue on the Future of the South Caucasus and Central Asia" in Baku on April 7-8, the forum's website reported.

The Baku Forum will discuss the development of sectors such as industry, natural resources, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, finance, and telecommunications and so on. The forum will become an important platform for regional and global players to assess the main challenges and opportunities associated with the future of the region and contribute to the development of cooperation and integration in the South Caucasus and Central Asia, the WEF website reported.

Pension increases with GEL 15

The pensions of those below the age of 67 have been increased from GEL 110 to 125 and has thus, become equal to the pension of people above 67. The increase refers also to one group of people with disabilities while from September 1st, 2013, the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, pensions will reach GEL 150. Pensions will also increase for disabled children and people from group 2 disabilities from GEL 70 to 100, while the pensions for people without bread-winners from 55 to 100.