In the Georgian capital Tbilisi, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against the government and before joining the European Union. Citizens, civil society and the opposition expressed their displeasure at what they see as the governments failure to take advantage of the momentum to obtain a candidate membership of the European Union for Georgia as well.
The participants, between 30,000 to 60,000, gathered in front of the parliament building and waved Georgian and European flags. With the March for Europe, the organization wanted to show that the Georgians choose Europe and Western values.
“Europe is a historical choice and a desire of Georgians, for which all generations have made sacrifices. Freedom, peace, sustainable economic development, protection of human rights and justice are values that unite us and that would be guaranteed through integration into the European Union,” says in a statement.
Where the European Commission spoke positively about candidate membership for Ukraine and Moldova, the message for Georgia was more economical. That country received extra homework in the field of reforms.
There are many concerns in Georgia about a possible Russian threat, mainly due to unrest in the renegade regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In the latter region, a referendum is scheduled to join Russia at the end of July.