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Saakashvili acknowledges, not all expectations met

By Messenger staff
Monday, November 24
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the nation on November 22, on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution. Summing up the five year record of the Government, Saakashvili said that “one thing is obvious: Georgia has taken form as a state.” The President stressed that five years on from the Revolution Georgia has “a stronger economy, better roads, better schools, better hospitals, more jobs and we have the police, which we trust and respect.”

Along with hailing the achievements of the Government during the past five years, Saakashvili acknowledged that “maybe more could have been done,” adding that not all expectations and hopes had been fulfilled. “I am the one who always says that the Rose Revolution has not met all our expectations and hopes, because our expectations and hopes are always much more than it is possible to deliver.”

In his televised address Saakashvili also highlighted the August events. He said military conflict with Russia has “made it more difficult to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity.” “We have become the target of the world’s biggest aggressor,” Saakashvili said. He stated that Russia had failed to achieve its major goal - to overthrow the Georgian Government. “Their goal was to undermine Georgian statehood,” Saakashvili said, adding, “We should not relax, because our country and our democracy still remains their target.”

The President said the unity of the nation is needed to resolve the problems the country is facing at the moment. “Despite difficulties, I‘m convinced that we are strong enough to stand together and overcome this huge barrier, and to move forward in order to defeat the empire and restore Georgia’s territorial integrity,” Saakashvili said.

The Georgian President touched upon the issue of democracy in the country and said Georgia needs to become a democratic country, with liberal ideas. “Georgia should have absolute freedom of speech and guarantees of free expression of even the most unacceptable ideas, not only theoretically, but in the real world as well. Political debates, even the most tense ones, should serve to progress society,” Saakashvili stated.

The President mentioned the economic situation in Georgia, and said that poverty had decreased by 2% and economic growth boosted threefold during the last five years. However, he said, some Georgian citizens live in poverty and face unemployment. “Despite the achievements of the last five years, our Revolution will not end unless there is a job for each Georgian who wants to work and we make more progress in overcoming poverty,” Saakashvili said. The President stated that instead of celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution, the Georgian people needed to demonstrate “patience, unity and solidarity” towards the people who suffered the most during the August events.