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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 24
PM Gharibashvili says no cabinet reshuffles on agenda

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili says that conversations about possible cabinet reshuffles are speculations.

"I would like to make a brief comment on the endless speculations that some government reshuffling is expected to take place. The United National Movement, the rating of which is 6 %, spreads rumors that some ministers are going to resign," Gharibashvili said at the cabinet meeting.

According to the prime minister the goal of those speculations is to create a sense of instability and tension in the population.

"I know that as per the recent study there is a positive, optimistic attitude in our society, and more than 70 % are optimistic about the future of the country. The course, which we undertook after the 2012 parliamentary elections, will be fully accomplished. I promise this and I am taking responsibility to see that no changes, no reshuffling or coup will take place,” the PM concluded. (InterPressNews)

Fugitive ex-official asks for political asylum in Europe

Fugitive ex-chief of the constitutional security department, Data Akhalaia, has surrendered to law enforcement in Greece - his sister-in-law Ani Nadareishvili has reported. According to her, Akhalaia asked for political asylum and has been granted it by the Greek government.

Ani Nadareishvili has explained the decision of her brother-in-law was due to political pressure on their family.

“As our family is subjected to intensive political persecution, each member of our family suffers unprecedented pressure from the current government of Georgia, Data Akhalaia has asked for political asylum by one of the European countries,” Nadareishvili has said. (Rustavi 2)

President to participate in EP 5th anniversary summit

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili will participate in the summit dedicated to the 5th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership opening on April 24 in Prague.

The Georgian President will deliver a speech at the conference and focus on the significance of Georgia`s European integration, the challenges that the Eastern Partnership faces, and other prospects of the European initiative.

The presidents of the Czech Republic, Armenia, Lithuania, Austria, Poland and other leaders will also take part in the summit. Stefan Fule, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy will also attend the summit. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian Defense Minister pays two-day official visit to Turkey

Georgian Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, who has been invited to Istanbul by his Turkish colleague, has paid a two-day visit to the Republic of Turkey. Alasania is participating in a festive ceremony dedicated to the 99th anniversary of the Dardanelles war.

Reportedly, the Minister will also attend a performance by Turkey’s military orchestra, Menterani.

Within the frames of the festive ceremony, they plan to arrange a military parade of the Turkish army, honor guards as well as banner-bearers. The aviation-show, Sholoturk, is also expected to be conducted. In addition, the delegation members will pay a visit to the simulation center and will pay homage to the heroic victims of the 57th military unit who lost their lives in the Dardanelles battlefield. (InterPressNews)

TI Georgia says 28 MPs have not made statements for a year

28 members of the current Parliament have not made any statements at plenary sessions for a year, a Transparency International Georgia report says.

The report covers a period from October 21, 2012 (the day of the newly elected parliament's first session) to October 21, 2013. As the report says 28 MPs have not made any statements or initiated any legislative drafts.

13 out of the 28 MPs are members of the majority, while 7 do not belong to any group. In addition, according to the report, for the one-year period 121 Members of Parliament used their rights to deliver speeches and only 54 used the right to legislative initiation.

The most active MPs at plenary sessions were: Vakhtang Khmaladze, Koba Davitashvili, Pavle Kublashvili, Sergo Ratiani and Zakaria Kutsnashvili. According to the quantity of submitted draft bills, the following MPs who were most active: Irene Imerlishvili, Koba Davitashvili, Davit Onoprishvili, Irakli Seiashvili and Giorgi Tsagareishvili. (InterPressNews)

Entrepreneurship to be a secondary school subject

The Georgian government has come up with an initiative to offer entrepreneurship as a required secondary school course.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili believes entrepreneurship could be taught and learned like any other subjects in the school curriculum and pupils would gain additional business skills.

"Entrepreneurial studies as a secondary school subject has the possibility of encouraging some students to become entrepreneurs after graduating from school,” Gharibashvili said at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

The strategic document for teaching pupils entrepreneurial studies titled Create the Future has already been prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Initially, the project will be piloted in 100 schools across the country in 2014-2015 years. Pupils in the 11thclass will study the subject.

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Sports and Youth and Georgia’s Chamber of Commerce. (Agenda.Ge)

The Pope prays to Georgian icon - Easter tradition of Catholics

For the last few years, Easter Mass in the Vatican has started bringing forth a Georgian icon onto St. Peter’s Square. This year was no exception. On April 20, Pope Francis traditionally addressed the Catholic flock, giving a fair share of attention to the Orthodox parish as well, since Easter was celebrated by the entire Christian world on this day. Over 150,000 people gathered on St. Peter’s Square to attend the mass.

The Icon of Our Savior, to which the entire Catholic world’s shepherd prays, was painted by the Georgian artist Amiran Goglidze. Before addressing believers, Pope Francis prayed to the Orthodox icon and lit incense in front of it. (Georgian News)