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Georgia: tens of thousands of pro-Europeans in Tbilisi

2022-07-03T17:58:14.288Z

Tens of thousands of pro-European activists demonstrated again on Sunday in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, to demand the resignation...



Tens of thousands of pro-European activists demonstrated again on Sunday in Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, to demand the resignation of the government accused of having failed to obtain the status of candidate for the European Union.

Read alsoUkraine, Moldova, Georgia, Balkans: candidacies that are not at the same level of advancement

The demonstrators, who blocked traffic on the main artery of the capital, waved European and Georgian flags, as well as signs "

We are Europe

", noted AFP journalists.

All opposition parties and several pro-European organizations had called for demonstrations to increase pressure on the ruling party, Georgian Dream, accused of authoritarian drift and of having deteriorated relations with Brussels.

"

We demand that the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili (founder of the Georgian Dream, editor's note) renounce executive power and transfer it, respecting the Constitution, to a government of national unity

", they called on Saturday in a message on Facebook.

A new government must "

carry out the reforms requested by the EU and which will automatically bring us the status of candidate for EU membership

", continues the text.

A new phase

Today we are entering a new phase of our demonstrations: we will remain united

,” insisted the organizers.

On June 23, European leaders said they were “

ready to grant candidate status

” to Georgia, the target of a Russian armed offensive in 2008, but once major reforms have been carried out.

This decision was followed by demonstrations against the Georgian Dream, during which it was demanded that Bidzina Ivanishvili - considered the strong man of the country, even if he no longer has an official political function - let go of power.

Georgia, which borders the Black Sea, applied to join the EU along with Ukraine and Moldova, two other former Soviet republics, days after the Kremlin attack on Ukraine on February 24 .

On June 23, European leaders granted this status to Kiev and Chisinau, but not to Tbilisi, while recognizing

Georgia's "

European perspective ".

"

Georgia's future is within the EU

," assured the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

This announcement was hailed as "

historic

" by Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.

We are ready to work with determination over the next few months to achieve candidate status

,” she wrote on Twitter.

But Brussels is asking Tbilisi for reforms to strengthen justice, freedom of the press, the electoral system, and fight against the oligarchs, in a country regularly shaken by political crises.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibachvili, of the Georgian Dream party, assured that his government was "

mobilized

" to carry out these reforms and obtain candidate status "

as soon as possible

".

Georgia has wanted for years to join the EU and NATO.

Against the background of these ambitions, a short war opposed it in 2008 to Russia, which immediately recognized the independence of two Georgian separatist territories.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2022-07-03

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