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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 21
Georgia to engage in EU crisis management operations

The EU Council of Foreign Affairs Ministers decided to sign and conclude an agreement enabling the participation of Georgia in EU crisis management operations, the official webpage of the Council of the European Union says.

It also agreed to sign and conclude an agreement establishing a framework for the participation of the Republic of Chile in EU crisis management operations.

Reports say the decision was made at the joint meeting of Foreign and Defense Ministers of the 28 EU countries in Brussels. In November 2012, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catharine Ashton proposed the Georgian government, during her visit to Georgia, to start working on an agreement about Georgia’s participation in EU crisis management operations. (InterPressNews)

Participants of presidential elections got donations in the amount of 5,031,200 GEL

Participants of the presidential elections received donations in the amount of 5,031,200 GEL from 1 July to 1 November. Democratic Movement – United Georgia received the largest donation – 2,466,969 GEL, Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia - 2,033,860 GEL and the United National Movement (UNM) - 414,993 GEL. (InterPressNews)

Ambassadorial appointments to vacant posts is top priority for Georgian President

One of the main priorities of Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili will be the appointment of ambassadors to countries where Georgia does not have them, the President's adviser for foreign political affairs Vano Machavariani told journalists on November19. According to him, currently, this is a priority issue.

"We begin our activity, and the appointment of ambassadors will be one of the important and priority topics," Machavariani said.

According to the president's advisor, he has already been appointed the President's adviser for foreign political affairs.

Georgia's previous president, Mikheil Saakashvili, did not sign the appointments of a number of ambassadors. He did not sign the appointment of eight ambassadors proposed by the Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze. The ambassadors to Germany and Great Britain have not been appointed.

According to the new constitution, the Cabinet of Ministers proposes new ambassadors and the president only approves them after the parliament's endorsement. (Trend)

ENERGO-PRO Georgia completes re-metering in 24 more villages

JSC ENERGO-PRO Georgia completed individual re-metering in 24 more villages. As a result of activities carried out by technical brigades of the company European standard meters were installed to 4 345 customers. Total investment of the project amounted GEL 1 086 250.

“We install European standard meters to our customers, these individual meters give the customers an opportunity to control one’s own electricity consumption and pay electricity bill in accordance to an individual meter reading” – said head of public relations division Avto Dvalishvili.

At present technical personnel of the company conducted re-metering activities in Bolnisi region village Samtredo (119 customers), Marneuli region village Seidgojalo (130 customers), Gori region village Akhrisi (228 customers), Abasha region village Ketilari (347 customers) and 12 more villages.

Along with individual re-metering JSC ENERGO-PRO Georgia actively conducts electricity grid rehabilitation, as a result of which network infrastructure improves increasing quality of electricity supply; and service eventually.

Company continues individual re-metering activities and in 2015 whole Georgia will be individually re-metered. (InterPressNews)

Photo exhibition in support of Merabishvili held outside City Court

A Photo exhibition in support of the former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili was held outside Tbilisi City Court. The photo exhibition “collaboration in a democratic state is a crime” depicts 26 May events, all the photos bearing “Ivane Merabishvili is tried today for thwarting crime.”

As the exhibition organizers say, these photos show how the leader of Democratic Movement – United Georgia Nino Burjanadze tried to carry out a Russian plan with her supporters.

They inform that innovative events will be held throughout Georgia, to assure the public that Vano Merabishvili is innocent.

The criminal case against Merabishvili regarding 26 May developments was held at Tbilisi city court on Tuesday. (InterPressNews)

17 % of Georgia’s female prisoners have hepatitis C

The Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia says screening procedures have revealed a very high level of hepatitis C infections in prisons.

Sozar Subari said Tuesday at a session with parliamentary committees that the ratio of infected inmates at the women’s facility is 17 percent. He also said that there are more than 50 percent of infected prisoners in another group which he failed to specify.

Subari said the ministry is starting to offer free hepatitis C treatment in the prisons.

He said the tender process is almost finished and expressed hope that by the end of the month, the price of medicine will be a third of what it was.

The prison minister explained that the condition for the tender is to buy necessary medicine for thousand of prisoners for the lowest price.

“The company must also sell the medicine to the rest of society at the same price. This means that medicine for hepatitis C should become 70 percent cheaper for the society,” he added.

Subari noted that medicine for hepatitis C treatment costs USD 235-260 in Georgia; one of highest price levels in the world.

Last month, the Health Ministry announced that it will begin the new program to lower the prices for hepatitis C treatment. Acting Health Minister Davit Sergeenko said treatment would be free for prisoners and cheap for others. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)