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PM Back on Work, Responds on Press Reports
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Jan.'09 / 15:47

PM Grigol Mgaloblishvili said he regretted about “hype and rumors” that was stirred by the press about him after leaving for Germany for medical examination.

“I regret that my medical treatment lasted more than initially planned but frankly speaking, hype and rumors in the Georgian press about my health, was even more regretful,” PM Mgaloblishvili said at a government’s session on January 12.

“When I first read in the Russian press, I laughed. But after this issue – the health issue, which is so private - was further circulated with such enthusiasm by the press and some politicians, it was no more ridiculous for me,” he added.

In December the Georgian tabloid, Alia, reported citing an unnamed source that President Saakashvili allegedly punched PM Mgaloblishvili and then threw a mobile phone at him. According to the same report, the PM filed for resignation, but President Saakashvili refused to accept it. The report was widely picked up by the Russian media outlets. About a week later after the article was published in the Alia, the Georgian government said in a statement on December 31 that PM Mgaloblishvili left for Germany for medical examination in connection with problems related to kidney, caused by “tiredness.” His departure further fueled speculations in the Georgian press about the PM’s possible resignation.

“I want to make it clear that the government was working and is working as usually. We have the same tasks ahead, first of all to preserve jobs in this very difficult period and to do our utmost to help Georgian economy out of this severe crisis,” PM Mgaloblishvili told the cabinet members on January 12. 

Gigi Ugulava, the mayor of Tbilisi, and an influential figure within the President’s administration, said that this speculation surrounding the PM was “beyond understanding and horrible.”

Speaking in the public TV’s new program, Political Week, on January 11, Ugulava said that the PM did not feel well and he had to undergo medical treatment in Germany. “That is the fact and all the rest are rumors and chatters,” he said.

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