Georgia: Tens of thousands of demonstrators demand EU accession
uUnder the motto “Home to Europe”, tens of thousands of people in the Georgian capital Tbilisi called for their country to move closer to the EU demonstrated. Many waved the EU’s Stars and Stripes or held up placards that read “We are Europe”. Last week, the EU Commission did not recommend granting candidate status to Georgia, unlike Ukraine and Moldova; All that was said was a conditional “European perspective” for Georgia.
The protesters who georgia According to the organizers, the national anthem and the EU anthem “Ode to Joy” played in front of the parliament building wanted to send a pro-European signal to Brussels from the activist group “Scham”. The European Council meets there on Thursday and Friday to decide on the Commission’s recommendations.
“Shame” arose exactly three years ago after the appearance of a Great Russian nationalist in the parliament in Tbilisi, which was tolerated by the government of the “Georgian Dream”, and which resulted in large-scale protests; Russia has stationed thousands of soldiers in the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which make up 20 percent of Georgia’s territory, and is considered an occupying power in the country. “Shame” appealed to the European Councilafter all, to “grant candidate status to Georgia together with our friends in Ukraine and Moldova”.
EU Commission calls for “de-oligarchisation”
A representative of the group called Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the ruling party, “the most important obstacle on Georgia’s path to Europe”. Ivanishvili is the richest Georgian and is also considered an informal decision-maker in the country, although he claims to have retired from politics. the EU Commission has cited a “de-oligarchization” of Georgia as one of its conditions for candidate status.
Also members of the European Parliament as well as Georgians responsible for the Ukraine fight, spoke at the demonstration. The AFP news agency estimates the number of participants based on drone footage at 120,000 people. Smaller congregations were held in a number of other cities in Georgia, as well as in several foreign cities such as Berlin. Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova applied for EU membership in the spring shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, a protégé of Ivanishvili, had warned before the Commission’s recommendation was made that the EU was taking an “unjust” decision that was “insulting to our country and our people,” but now praised the Brussels formula of the “European perspective” for Georgia “historic decision” and said the steps recommended by the commission are already being worked on. At the same time, Garibashvili complained that if the commission had decided on the basis of “merit”, Georgia would have been “the first” country to receive candidate status. Before the demonstration on Monday evening, Garibashvili had called for “not giving in to provocations”. But then it remained peaceful.