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The News in Brief

Monday, June 10
European diplomats concerned over the situation in conflict zone

Approximately 30 representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia visited the villages near the conflict zone. The visit was organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and started from the village of Khurvaleti, which borders the occupied territory.

Some houses and land of these villages fell into the territory controlled by the Ossetian party as a result of the installation of barbed wire fences by the Russian occupation forces across the Tskhinavali regions' occupation line.

European diplomats say that the situation is more difficult in the villages near the conflict zone than previously thought.

Representatives of the diplomatic corps also visited the villages of Gugutiant Kari and Ditsi.
(Front News)

Protesters detained for hooliganism

Three individuals were arrested during a protest staged outside the Professional Unions offices where a meeting of Social Democrats was underway on June 5. Interior Minister Spokesperson, Nino Giorgobiani, said that two of the arrested were participants of the demonstration, while another was a passerby. Giorgobiani also said the individuals were arrested for minor hooliganism. The arrested citizens were later released.

The protesters said they participated in the demonstration organized by the Free Zone Club to voice their discontent with the “inability” of the government to offer an effective response to the recent moving of de-facto border between Georgia and its breakaway region of South Ossetia by the occupying Russian forces. The demonstrators said they wished to meet Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who was attending the meeting of Social Democrats at the Professional Unions offices.
(Georgian News)

Rally against NATO in Batumi

A rally against NATO was held in Batumi. Former political prisoners and common citizens gathered on Europe Square and expressed their sorrow for the deaths of the Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan. The protesters had posters proclaiming “We do not want NATO,” “Stop sending our boys to slaughter!”

“I fought in Afghanistan too. It was the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was not right back then when it sent soldiers to Afghanistan and neither is the West right today. The soldiers are volunteers, but on the other hand – they go due to financial problems,” Anzor Dumbadze, one of the protesters said.

Nodar Khaduri Meets Richard Norland

Minister of Finance of Georgia, Nodar Khaduri, met with U.S. ambassador in Georgia, Richard Norland. The meeting with Nodar Khaduri was attended by Microsoft representatives in Georgia and U.S. embassy employees. The parties discussed the situation between the states, including protection of intellectual property rights– namely, Georgia’s active participation in the fight against the spread of unlicensed Microsoft software. The Minister of Finance promised full support to the guests.

Family of Georgian student injured in Turkey plan to hire a lawyer

Parents of a 19 year-old Georgian student, who was gravely injured during the bloody demonstrations in Turkey, say they are going to hire a lawyer in order to investigate the violence against their son and punish the guilty. However, they fear the identification of the persons who beat up his son will be very difficult, as the demonstrators were in masks.

Father of Akaki Avaliani says his son did not participate in the demonstration, but appeared in the epicenter of the development accidentally. The boy is currently at one of the hospitals in Turkey. The family says his transfer to Georgia will only happen after his health is improved.
(Rustavi 2)

World Bank allocates $75 million to upgrade main roads of Georgia

Georgia and the World Bank signed an agreement for the financing of the fourth east-west highway project (Agar-Zemo Osiauri section). In order to implement the project, the World Bank will allocate the financial resources on concessional terms in the amount of approximately $75 million, $38 million of which is to be allocated by the International Bank for the Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of the World Bank. About $37 million will be allocated by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank. This new investment in the recovery of the highway is being allocated to upgrade the most important transport corridor in Georgia. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Finance of Georgia, Nodar Khaduri and World Bank Country Director for the South Caucasus, Henry Kerali.

According to Khaduri, the purpose of the project is to provide an automobile connection of Azerbaijan with the Georgian Black Sea coast on a good highway.

"In the course of this project, the work, which will deepen the positive steps provided by the third project, will be financed. Within the current strategy between with Georgia, the World Bank also supports the efforts aimed at improving the capacity of institutions working in the field of roads construction," Henry Kerala said.

He went on to note that according to this strategy, travel time and costs on transit roads should be reduced and the road safety should be improved in order to enhance competitiveness.

Winner of the Georgian Talent Show awaits prize

The family of Vano Phiphia – winner of the 2011 Talent Show – has appealed for help in covering the expenses for the costly medication he needs to take every five months for post-operation rehabilitation. His mother said the family had planned to obtain funds for the medication by renting out the apartment awarded to Vano as the prize for winning the show, but that it had not actually been handed to him for in the two years that passed since the win.

Vano Phiphia won the contest two years ago. He suffers from cerebral palsy. Vano’s mother said his condition was acceptable but full recovery necessitated the continuation of the rehabilitation course.

According to his mother, Vano is scheduled to travel to the United States to study during the upcoming school year with a scholarship provided by the Georgian government. She said it was not known if the medication cost would be involved in the project.
(Georgian News)