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Giorgi Kvirikashvili meets with King Felipe VI of Spain
Update Time: 2017-01-18 12:21:00
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has met with King Felipe VI of Spain, the Governmental Administration reports. The discussion involved the International Tourism Fair scheduled to open today. Attention was paid to the tourism industry as one of the most important socioeconomic sectors. During the meeting, the Prime Minister of Georgia spoke of Georgia's growing tourism potential and stated that, in 2016, some 6.4 million guests visited the country, and the tourism revenues exceeded two billion USD. The meeting at the El Pardo Palace was attended by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai. After the meeting, the inauguration of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development was held at the royal palace, attended by representatives of the global political and economic communities. In his speech delivered at the event, the UNWTO Secretary General once again spoke of Georgia. According to him, Georgia is a brand associated with a beautiful country and wonderful people. The guests were addressed by King Felipe VI of Spain who wished them success. 
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Politics
Meeting of group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms to be held
Update Time: 2017-01-18 12:16:00
The meeting of group on Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanisms will be held in Ergneti village today. Official Tbilisi will raise the issue of release of Georgian local Giorgi Giunashvili as well as security and humanitarian problems at occupational line. 
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Economics
GYLA demands full information about agreement reached with Gazprom
Update Time: 2017-01-18 12:11:00
The Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) demands that the agreement reached with Gazprom Company is made public and full information is provided to the non-governmental organization. The organization will apply to Ministry of Energy in written form today. It will demand making of all official documents public otherwise it will apply to the court. 
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Politics
Expectations about work of new parliament based on NDI Survey
Publish Time: 2017-01-18 11:37:00
According to the National Democratic Institute (NDI) survey, 42% of respondents think that the new parliament will work much better than the previous one. The 30% of respondents believe that the new parliament will be the same, while 8% think that the new parliament will be worse than the previous one.The National Democratic Institute carried out the survey fieldwork from November 4 to December 4. 3 141 persons were interviewed face-to-face throughout the country (excluding occupied territories). The organization says the average margin of error is +/- 1.8%. The survey was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency and was carried out by CRRC-Georgia.  
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Politics
Majority of NDI respondents think there were no cases of pressure during 2012 and 2016 elections
Publish Time: 2017-01-18 10:57:00
According to the National Democratic Institute (NDI) public survey, the majority of respondents - 47% think that there were no cases of pressure during the 2012 and the 2016 elections. The 17% of respondents claim that there was more pressure in the 2012 election than in 2016. The 10% said that the pressure was equal. 11% of respondents think that there was more pressure in 2016 than in 2012.The National Democratic Institute carried out the survey fieldwork from November 4 to December 4. 3 141 persons were interviewed face-to-face throughout the country (excluding occupied territories). The organization says the average margin of error is +/- 1.8%. The survey was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency and was carried out by CRRC-Georgia. 
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Politics
Coordination Group to meet with representatives of Patriots’ Alliance faction
Publish Time: 2017-01-18 10:08:00
Members of Coordination Group of qualified political parties will meet with representatives of parliamentary Patriots’ Alliance faction today. Discussions will be held about election system related issues. The draft-bill, which envisages abolishment of Majoritarian (single mandate) rule of elections, will be considered during the meeting. Representatives of the non-parliamentary opposition claim that the draft-bill should be put for voting since it is backed by 200 thousand signatures and has passed through all procedures. 
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Politics
NDI to publish political part of public survey
Publish Time: 2017-01-18 10:05:00
The National-Democratic Institute (NDI) will publish political part of the public survey today. Results of survey about parliamentary elections, expectations toward parliament and support of political parties will become known during the presentation. The survey was carried out during the period from November 4 to December 4. The 3, 141 people were interviewed throughout Georgia. The margin of error is +/-1, 8%. CRRC carried out the survey with financing of Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency. 
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Culture
Preparations for Georgian National Final Underway
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 21:25:00
Georgian National Final of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) will be held in Tbilisi Concert Hall on January 20. Preparation works for the concert have been already launched. Twenty-five contenders will perform on stage of Tbilisi Big Concert Hall. The voting procedure will last during 15 minutes.The winner in the National Final will represent Georgia at 2017 Eurovision Song Contest ( ESC) in Kyiv, Ukraine. The National Final will be aired live by First Channel of GPB starting 20:00. 
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Society
New public movement established
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:42:00
Presentation of a new public movement “New Unity for Georgia” was held today. Founders of the movement claimed that the union would be oriented on changing the current reality and creation of different structure in political arena. Founders said that cooperation with the movement will be possible for any citizen, public activists, political parties and representatives of non-governmental organizations except pro-Russian forces. Members of the new movement are Nikoloz Vashakidze, former deputy foreign minister, diplomats Mamuka Zhgenti and Mamuka Gamkrelidze and politicians Paata Davitaia and Bachuki Kardava. 
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Politics
UNM selects delegates for January 20 Congress
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:39:00
The parliamentary oppositional United National Movement (UNM) Party completed selection of delegates for the Party Congress scheduled for January 20. A total of 7 thousand and 136 delegates are registered for the event. According to Nino Kalandadze, UNM member, a new governing body, political council and UNM Party chairman will be elected during the congress. Invitations will be distributed from UNM central office and Presidential Library. 
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Politics
David Petraeus: Putin is Enemy of International Order
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:32:00
“Putin (President of Russian Federation) is the enemy of international order, who intruded into Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Georgia’s two occupied territories),” General David Howell Petraeus, a retired American military officer and public official told Voice of America. The Georgian office of Voice of America also asked the retired general whether policy of US toward Russia after coming of new President Donald Trump into power. 
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Politics
European anti-corruption body tells Georgia well done, but do more
Update Time: 2017-01-17 20:27:00
The Council of Europe on Tuesday called on Georgia to do more to reduce corruption while at the same time acknowledging it had made considerable progress. The Council's anti-corruption body, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO), welcomed positive developments in the South Caucasus country of 3.7 million such as the introduction of a monitoring mechanism for submitting asset declarations by public officials including parliamentarians, judges and high-level prosecutors.But it recommended further enhancing transparency of the legislative process through the publication of all draft legislation, and called for mandatory disclosure of parliamentarians' conflicts of interest.GRECO said that continuation of the reform of the judiciary was of prime importance and welcomed the recently launched reform of the prosecution service with the view of de-politicising it. "It is crucial now that the new rules be extended to cover all prosecutors, that they are effectively applied in practice and kept under constant review," GRECO said, as reported by Reuters."Now the reform must be effectively implemented and possibly followed by additional measures to further reduce the influence of the government and parliamentary majority on the appointment procedure of the chief prosecutor and on the activity of the prosecutorial council," the report said.Dozens of former state officials have been convicted in Georgia on various charges, including misspending funds, since a government led by former president Mikheil Saakashvili lost an election in Oct. 2012.Western countries have aired concerns that the new government has used selective justice and political persecution against opponents in the mountainous country which is a pivot of geopolitical rivalry between Russia and the West.Georgia is seeking closer links with both NATO and the European Union. The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France, promotes human rights and democracy in Europe and has 47 member states.GRECO, which comprises 47 Council of Europe member states, Belarus and the United States, aims to improve the capacity of its members to fight corruption by monitoring their compliance with anti-corruption standards.
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Culture
Presentation of first volume of Ekvtime Takaishvili’s essays
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 19:31:00
A presentation of the first volume of essays by Ekvtime Takaishvili, Georgian historian and archaeologist was held at Academy of Sciences today.  The book includes materials about expeditions and researches conducted in Tao-Klarjeti (current territory of Turkey), photos and charts. Publication of additional 11 volumes is planned. The first volume was published by “Artanuji” Publishing House with support of Tbilisi City Hall.  
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World
Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 18:58:00
Theresa May has said the UK "cannot possibly" remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean "not leaving the EU at all".But the prime minister promised to push for the "freest possible trade" with European countries and to sign new deals with others around the world, BBC reports.She also announced Parliament would get to vote on the final deal agreed between the UK and the EU. But Labour warned of "enormous dangers" in the prime minister's plans. Mrs May used her much-anticipated speech to announce the UK's priorities for Brexit negotiations, including: Maintaining the common travel area between the UK and Irish Republic Tariff-free trade with the EU A customs agreement with the EU New trade agreements with countries outside the EU Continued "practical" sharing of intelligence and policing information "Control" of immigration rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU A "phased approach"Mrs May said there would not be a "blow-by-blow" account of negotiations, set to get under way after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked by the end of March.
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Society
Conference on topic of reduction of traffic jams
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:49:00
Strategies about reduction of traffic jams in Tbilisi were discussed during the conference organized by Georgian Employers’ Association. Tbilisi City Hall and Sakrebulo (City Assembly) presented their projects. Foreign partners working on improvement of transport system management shared their experience with Georgian colleagues.  
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Culture
Money collected from SMS Voting to be transferred to Dimitri Tsintsadze Fund
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 18:42:00
The money collected from SMS voting during the Georgian national final of Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) will be transferred to Dimitri Tsintsadze Charity Fund. The national final will be held on January 20 and will be aired live by First Channel of GPB starting 20:00. Twenty-five contenders will perform on stage of Tbilisi Big Concert Hall. The voting procedure will last during 15 minutes. The winner will present Georgia at 2017 ESC in Kyiv, Ukraine. 
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Society
First Children’s Hospice opened
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:36:00
The first children’s hospice, a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, was opened in the village of Dighomi in Georgia. The Construction began in October of 2015 at the initiative of Open Society-Georgia Foundation, Medical Corporation Evex and with support of President’s Reserve Fund.  The hospice will serve children free of charge and in 24-hour regime. More than 1 million GEL was collected for the construction during one year. 
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Politics
President evaluates agreement reached with Gazprom
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:17:00
Georgian energy sector was harmed as well as political and economic interests of the country – this is how Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili evaluates the recent agreement reached with Gazprom Company.President said he presumed that Georgia could face more problems in the future. Eka Mishveladze, President’s Press Speaker voiced President’s viewpoint during the special briefing today. 
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Justice
Pre-trial sitting into case of Givi Targamadze’s car explosion
Update Time: 2017-01-17 18:07:00
A pre-trial sitting into case of car explosion of Givi Targamadze, a member of United National Movement (UNM) Party was held at Tbilisi City Court. The case of Boris Chagunava was separated from Khechuashvili’s case by prosecutor’s office on December 28, 2016. Khechuashvili is wanted. He is charged for pre-meditated murder. Chagunava is accused of illegal keeping of explosive devices. He admits the guilt. Discussions into Chagunava’s case will resume on January 26. An apparent car bomb exploded in central Tbilisi on October 3, 206, targeting the car of a member of parliament for the National Movement. The car’s owner MP Givi Targamadze was sitting in the front passenger seat as it exploded. He was not seriously injured.
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Justice
Court trial into so-called ritual murder case
Publish Time: 2017-01-17 18:05:00
The court trial of charged persons into so-called ritual murder continues at Tbilisi City Court. The case refers to murder of Luba Kochiachvili which may be the first case in Georgia detecting possible signs of cannibalism. The charged persons gave their testimonies and talked about details of the crime. Discussions take place into two parts: closed and open hearings. The charged persons are daughter of the killed woman and her boyfriend. Two other persons are charged for non-notification of the crime.  
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