Monday, September 15, 2008

1,969 public schools begin their school year

1,969 Georgian schools have begun their school year on September 15, in accordance with the order of Minister of Education Gia Nodia. There are 2,010 schools in Georgia. In the rest, mostly schools damaged during the Russian aggression, studies will begin by either September 22 or October 1.

IDPs are still being housed in 16 schools. Refugee children have been allocated to different schools according to their places of residence.

NATO Council session opens at Courtyard Marriott Hotel

A NATO Council session, to be held in the ‘26+1’ format, is currently being held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Tbilisi. The participants have been addressed by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoof Scheffer, The Ambassadors of 26 NATO member states and Georgian Government representatives including the Security Council Secretary and Foreign Minister are attending the session.
After a speech from the Secretary General a Georgian-NATO Commission framework agreement was signed, creating the basis on which this commission will be constituted.

World Health Organization session opens in Tbilisi

The 58th session of the European Regional Committee of the World Health Organization has opened in the Sheraton Metekhi Palace hotel, and will continue until September 18. At this annual session the representatives of 54 countries will discuss progress achieved in the sphere of Healthcare, the development of systems, chronic diseases and social factors impacting on health.
The session was opened by Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze and World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe Mark Danzon. World Health Organization General Director Margaret Chan will make a speech at the September 16 sitting. Meetings are planned between WHO representatives and President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Gurgenidze.
The sittings are held from 09:00 to 18:00 from September 15-18.

188 civilians, 14 MIA personnel and 168 MIA military personnel died due to the Russian Aggression

188 civilians, 14 staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and 168 of its special units personnel have died as a result of the Russian aggression, the bosses of the MIA, Defence and Health Ministries declared at a press conference held at the Sheraton Metekhi Palace Hotel on September 15.
The press conference was held by Minister of Health Aleksandre Kvitashvili, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Eka Zghuladze and Deputy Minister of Defence Batu Kutelia. As Kvitashvili declared, 188 identified civilians died due to the Russian aggression, most of whom had fatal wounds and burns. Eka Zghuladze declared that 14 MIA staff were killed, including two policemen, Tsotniashvili and Gulordava, who were killed in Ganmukhuri and Karaleti. Six persons are considered to be missing. Batu Kutelia stated that 168 special units personnel are dead. The bodies of 154 of these have been recovered, of which 110 have been identified, and the rest are considered missing in action but presumed dead.

Parliamentary minority supports changes to the 2008 Budget

The Parliamentary Minority supports the draft changes to the 2008 Budget, its leader Giorgi Targamadze has stressed at a press conference held after they were discussed. According to him, this will not be the last time the budget is altered this year, as significant assistance will be extended to Georgia by foreign donors.
The budget will be increased by GEL 255 million and will equal GEL 7.2 billion under the draft proposals. The changes were discussed by the parliamentary minority on September 15.

Georgian President to address Parliament

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is expected to attend Parliament on September 16, where he will make a speech to the members..

According to information received, the speech will last an hour, because the session must finish at 21:00. The current week is devoted to Committee hearings, rendering tomorrow’s address and extraordinary session.

The content of President’s speech is presently unknown. It’s also unknown whether the session will be open or closed.

Aleksandre Khetaguri reaffirms stability of energy provision in winter

Georgian Minister of Energy Aleksandre Khetaguri has reaffirmed in Parliament that energy provision will remain stable this winter.
In a speech to the Economics and Economic Policy Committee session about the existing situation in the energy sector, Khetaguri stated that all planned rehabilitation works at hydro plants and Tbilelectro stations have been completed. No problems are expected regarding gas provision. “Gas supply levels are regulated by the Georgian Government. Any Georgian company can purchase gas in Azerbaijan to meet supply needs just as they can in Russia,” Khetaguri stated. He confirmed that none of the active companies in Georgia buys its gas from Russia.
The country uses approximately 3.5 million cubic metres of gas a day. This is provided by Azerbaijan. Russia provides only 100,000 cubic metres a day, which represents a fee it pays for transporting gas to Armenia through Georgia.