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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 24
Ukraine and Georgia to possibly get visa-free regime starting from 2017

Final decision by EU Council and European Parliament expected to be made in October 2016.

Ukraine and Georgia are set to get visa-free regime from January 2017. This is according to Rikard Jozwiak, a correspondent of Radio Liberty in Brussels.

"The EU diplomats are awaiting the final decisions of the European Parliament and EU Council concerning visa-free travel for Ukraine and Georgia in October 2016 with its launch next year," wrote Jozwiak on his Twitter account. (ipn)

Georgian drivers can now check if their car is radioactive

Georgian drivers can now get their car examined for radioactivity. But why would they want to do that?

A new radiation control service became available on Wednesday and will be handled by the agency for nuclear and radiation security of the Environment Ministry.

The ministry’s unusual concern for radioactive cars is related to the fact many of the vehicles seen driving along Georgian roads have been imported from Japan, which experienced a nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant in 2011.

Vasil Gedevanishvli, head of the agency, told DFWatch that even though cars are examined at the border control, it will now be possible for drivers to voluntarily approach the agency and re-check their car.

Checking the car for nuclear radiation cost 50 laris and takes 15-20 minutes.

Gedevanishvili says that after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, there have been 40-50 cars in Georgia that were found to be radioactive. In most cases, the radiation level was insignificant, but the cars were cleaned nonetheless.

In one case during the last year, a car had a relatively serious radiation level and was impossible to clean. That car remains in port.

He says that many people are interested in examining their cars, even though they are checked at the border.

The nuclear and radiation agency at the Environment Protection Ministry was created in fall of 2015. (df watch)

There is no gap between us and the population – PM

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has presented majoritarian candidate Valeri Gelashvili in Khashuri and familiarized them with the plan of the country’s further development.

According to him the upcoming four years will be the period of fast and fundamental changes.

‘There is no gap between us and our population. We are ordinary people like each of you. Therefore we appreciate everything that is done in the country. We plan to pass the upcoming for years with great responsibility, by implementing important, fundamental changes in economy, education system… More than 5 billion USD need to be spent in the next years than it is today,’ - Kvirikashvili has said.

The party head referred to the significance of conducting elections in free and open environment remarking the main priority of Georgian Dream is dignity and liberty of people. (IPN)

Solidarity Fund: Two years of activities at a glance

The Government-initiated Solidarity Fund is continuing its effort to raise public awareness and seek donations so no child with cancer in Georgia dies because of lack of funds for life-saving medicine.

In the past 24 months private companies and the public have donated funds worth more than seven million GEL to fund vital cancer treatment for 276 children and adults under the age of 22.

These finances included:

• 1,722,252 GEL;

• $2,552,871 USD;

• ˆ1,246,053.

The Fund said that 121 of the 276 patients had been treated locally, while 155 received medical treatment at hospitals in Germany, Spain, Turkey, Japan, Israel, Italy and France.

To raise further awareness about the Solidarity Fund, attract more donations and involve more people in charity activities, the Solidarity Fund has opened a charity hotline which people can call and donate.

People who want to offer a small donation to help children and young adults living with cancer can phone the hotline number 901 12 12 12, and have 1 GEL removed from their phone accounts and transferred to the Solidarity Fund.

Also, the Solidarity Fund has launched a mobile application under the name ‘Solidarity Fund/??????????? ??????’, which is available on the Google Play store and Apple store, which people can download and donate to the cause.

The Solidarity Fund was created in 2014 through an initiative of former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, which encouraged the public sector to donate funds that are then distributed to cover the cost of treatment for ill children and other priority social needs.

As word spread about the creation and purpose of the Solidarity Fund, the number of donors increased to 27 private companies and more than 60,000 public sector employees, who have donated more than 7,195,089 GEL so far. (