Mikheil Saakashvili addresses the population of Dmanisi

My Dear Residents of Dmanisi,

First of all, I would like thank you for the fact that nearly the whole community is present here today.

The chief aim of our battle is the establishment of Georgia on the world map – the regions and parts of our country that no one knew about before have to become known for everyone.

If asked in the earlier days, 9 out of 10 persons would not know where your region was, but it is time for every part of Georgia to be established on the world map, especially those that had been promoted the least.

We should achieve establishment of an appropriate place for Georgia on the world map, we should let everyone see what nice people live here.

Reaching this aim is only possible through the development of our country and society, its strengthening, creating better living conditions and overcoming poverty to the utmost possibility.

I would like to say that these hospitals are not only nice buildings, each one of them bears a greater idea. Only corrupt officials had an opportunity for treatment in heated and lighted facilities in the past and to have medical check-ups, it is accessible to everyone, to every citizen of Georgia now. This is the result of the Rose revolution.

The privileged people had control over everything before, it was only them who had electricity – some had it by generators, while some – by borrowing from others.

To get a good education was the privilege of their children as well; it was only they who had nice cars, despite the roads being bad.

Our chief aim today is to establish a principle of equality among the people. That is why the roads are being built, hospitals and schools are being constructed and renovated everywhere.

If the rehabilitation of schools has not started in your region yet, it will soon start here. Your children will go to the same types of schools as children in rich countries or those with rich families.

Our citizens should have access to the same healthcare system, as do the rich people and citizens of rich countries.

Certainly, we do not have such living conditions at home yet, but we needed to start the reconstruction process from somewhere.

If the health system were to be accessible, first we needed to create one.

We are building hospitals today where treatment will be accessible to the overwhelming majority of the population – we are intending to implement a massive insurance program for pensioners and children up to the age of 5 this year.

We will insure even more socially unprotected people this year. A great part of our society will have an insurance policy in this district as well. These hospitals are not being built for foreigners, but for the local population, so that every person feels safe.

It used to be very ‘simple’ before – We had to go to the devastated hospitals in Tbilisi, stand in long lines, then give bribes to the doctors, miserably spend a night at a relative’s house…some even waited in the streets for their relatives to get better.

There was nothing for people in that country.

We have lots of doctors here, we are also thankful to those people who built these hospitals, yet I would like to once again boldly mention what I have said during the last meeting – God forbid that doctors, and the medical personal in general, do not receive their salaries on time.

God forbid that any of the employees remain without a salary even for a week or two in these hospitals, in these new buildings or still have a low salary and because of this turn towards the patient’s pocket.

You probably remember how they used to collect 1 GEL earlier in our schools, so that in winters like this, as we have them now in Georgia, the school did not freeze. The parents had to pool 2 or 5 GEL and with that money buy the wood or stovepipes, which stuck out from the windows of the class rooms. The schools were practically run by the parents of students.

The doctors and nurses lived at the expense of patients and their family members. The Police was also living at the people’s expense. The state apparatus was fed from the money ransomed from society.

Everything has been turned around now, but every time we do something new, different forces still gather and say that they need to topple us and return to the past.

Yet, this will not happen and I will tell you why – they are dealing not with Saakashvili, not with any of the representatives of this government, but with the Georgian people and its steadfast desire to live better, uphold its regained dignity, never allow the return of crime, corruption, arrogant, very ruthless and bad people.

On the one side there is darkness, while on the other – light; on the one side there is the past, while on the other – the future.

Light will always prevail over darkness, the future will always prevail over the past and the righteous will always prevail over the wicked.

If such were not our history, we would not exist.

We have a strong enemy, which occupies our territory even today. There are people expelled from those territories living here, but we should remember one thing – We should develop and do everything to become stronger.

We have to construct, build roads, create new cities, look after existing villages and the countryside, reinvigorate agriculture, we should not leave even one hectare of land uncultivated and give our children the best education in the world.

We must provide patients and vulnerable people with the best healthcare in the world. If we become stronger and move forward, our enemy will be defeated, as it is founded on unjust principles.

The law is back in Georgia and people are not afraid of going out on streets anymore; people are less scared of tomorrow and our children have hope of future; certainly this is all good.

I am aware that there is a large unemployment rate and unperceivable poverty in the country, but it is one thing had we given up and said: it is like this and it will always be like this and it is the other thing to say that: it is like this but it should not be like this – I should move forward.

We have already started moving forward and of course it is a long road, of course we have a lot to overcome, but no one can turn us back.

Sisters and brothers, my children, what we like to see most of all is when kids are coming to these types of meetings. 

No one will remain in the Government forever, but what we are doing will be left to the future generation. Our future is children; these brave youth will grow up and will take the leadership of the country.

The toughest people are gathered here and you will see that we will all reach this aim together.

Thank you very much.  

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