The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the population of Georgia



Tomorrow is November 23. This day is celebrated in our recent history as a day of fundamental change in our country.

Five years ago we all - our multiethnic nation stated that we couldn't stand it any longer.

We declared "enough" to the corruption, damaged roads, to no electricity, to no incomes, to no pensions, to hopelessness. We declared "enough" to that ugliness which was taking place in our country. We declared "enough" to the criminals, to the situation when Georgia was administered by "thieves-in-law".

After confrontation and permanent fighting Georgian people said that they wanted a better life and better future, more civilized and normal choice for itself and for future generations.

I will remember till my very last minutes of life the shining eyes of those people who went out into the street.

This was hope and aspiration to freedom.

I am the one who always says and acknowledges that the Rose Revolution has not met all of its expectations and hopes, because our expectations and hopes are always much more than it is possible to deliver. Maybe more could have been done.

But one thing is obvious, we were given a chance to build a much better country.

One thing is clear: Georgia as a state has been materialized.

Five years after the Rose Revolution we live in the country, which has stronger economy, better roads, better schools, better hospitals, more jobs and we have the police, which we trust and respect.

In August when I was returning from Zugdidi, when Russian tanks were coming from that road and which was bombed by Russian planes, this were the most difficult minutes in my life.

One thing I will always remember - the calmness of our people on this road.

For me as the President it was the feeling of despair was hard, because I I could not help those people, who granted me a mandate of trust.

The heroism of our police must especially be noted, they stood firm on the crossroads, on Rikoti, on the way to Kutaisi and Senaki, and regulated the traffic on the roads.

We meet the fifth anniversary of Rose Revolution with a lot of difficulties.

We have become the major target of the world's largest aggressor.

Unfortunately this is the result of our last years' achievements. No one believed, that it was possible to build real statehood in Georgia.

Georgia has become an important country and this created us many friends and unfortunately influential enemies.

I often compare Georgia with Amiran, chained on the Caucasian Range that on each attempt of being unchained was subject to be eaten by ravens. This was the last fight of the Empire against us.

We have become the major target of the world's largest aggressor.

We have to heal deep wounds. Tens of thousands of our families are left homeless. The financial crisis that spread all around the world creates great difficulties for the Georgian economy and the economic perspectives of each of us.

Very many people remain unemployed. The Russian aggression, of course, made restoration of the Georgia's territorial integrity more difficult.

Besides, a lot of honest people of various ethnic origins became victims of this aggression.

Tomorrow is a day of remarkable importance in the history of our country.

Georgia has never faced such challenges in its entire history.

We as never before must be watchful, careful and brave. The Empire is not doing well, but in order to improve the situation in Georgia we have to be equipped with patience and for that we need unity. In order to have patience we have to keep tomorrow's hope alive.

We must maintain brevity, which has a shocking effect on the states, which are economically stronger and prevail us in number.

Instead of celebrations tomorrow, we need to be united all with one purpose.

We should stand together as on November 23, St George's day.

We need such unity to overcome existing problems, to take a victory over the evil and to build a better country.

We are able to do it. Five years ago we saw that national unity can create the miracles.

We saw it in Tbilisi, Batumi. I am proud to see that everywhere where there are no occupants, we have kept civil peace and normal friendly co-existence among various ethnic groups.

When I meet people of various ethnic origins, those who couldn't speak a word of Georgian and did not have the feeling that they lived in integrated Georgia, today these people represent the strongest and the most reliable part of the population for our statehood. This was evidently notable during the Russian aggression.

Tomorrow, together with you, with the special pride and special emotions, how have we started development five years ago, but now our most important aim is to care about the problems of our people, to overcome unemployment and poverty.

I want to visit those sites tomorrow, where jobs are created and also those sites where we still fight to maintain jobs, in the conditions of world economic crisis.

Despite the achievements we had in last five years, our revolution will not end unless there are jobs for each Georgian who wants to work; unless we have more progress in overcoming poverty.

Poverty was reduced twice during last five years. Economy has increased three times, but one part of our society still lives in chronicle poverty. Nothing has changed for them, I know these people not from the statistics only, but I know many of them personally. I had personal contact with them during these years, we have to care most for this people, to help them raise their children in better conditions, without stress and hardship.

They will be raised normally, new generations will appear and we will held all these people by all means.

Our major enemy, we repeat it quite often and I will still repeat it, is poverty and unemployment.

I want to join the action of solidarity-week tomorrow, and express my solidarity to those people who lost homes.

We have built almost 5 000 new houses, and are finishing the construction of more, but I know perfectly well, however these houses are built, however convenient and warm they may be, this is a drop of water in the sea in comparison with what we still have to do, what our population and poor people need.

Despite of difficulties, I sure that we have great strength and national firmness to overcome incredible barriers erected before us, to continue our way forward, in order to defeat the Empire and restore territorial integrity of our country and defeat unemployment.

We have to do everything, to build absolutely free Georgia with fully free and liberal democracy, where freedom of speech is guaranteed in practice and not only by the law, where the sharpest political debates serve the progress of the society and not the creation of any barrier and termination of the progress, where people argue, don't agree on everything, many of whom may not like one another but love their own country and will never harm our country, with their national confrontation.

Where everyone will be responsible for our common future, where each of us will work to build our common freedom.

No matter how different we are from one another, we must still agree on the main issues.

You will probably agree with me, that after serious cataclysms of the last months and years, very positive steps were taken in this direction.

Very few civilized and wealthy nations could stand the aggression that was taken against our country and still continues.

Many of these nations and governments would be practically destroyed and the majority of them would stop existence.

The aggressor has failed so far to achieve its major goal. Their goal was to undermine the Georgian statehood and we should not relax, because the Georgian state and Georgian democracy still remains their target... The aggressor knows it very well that if Georgia survives and gets stronger, its occupation has no chance and has no future.

No aggressor could succeed after such aggression and occupation, even in the epoch of less civilization and hard periods.

The step taken by Russia is the expression of its weakness and not strength.

Their target was the Georgian statehood and we must not calm down, because their target even today is Georgian statehood and abolishment of Georgian democracy. In their wild dreams they see Georgia disappear from the map.

This is why we have to understand what is our challenge today and we have to understand as well, that by our unity, by our remarkable attempts, under the threat of bombing, hundreds of thousand of people gathered in the center of Tbilisi. People of various ethnicities, millions of our citizens, stood in chain at the beginning of September.

We managed to hold a civilized dialogue on main issues.

Our democracy got stronger and despite of challenges, our economic reforms will go on. And I want to say that our economy could stand the world crisis better than much stronger and developed economies and governments.

Of course we have our perspective.

Five years ago we all felt how St George led us to victory.

Now is the time when each of us must feel the strength of St George.

We have to meet the exam, sent by destiny with all our might.

The way leading to victory is never covered with roses.

We have our national instinct, that Georgia will become victorious finally.

The names of many Empires that tried to concur us may be remembered by histrorians only. As for our country it existed and still exists.

Each of us must feel the strength of St George and if it is so, and it will necessarily be so, our victory is inevitable.

I want to congratulate you on St George's day.

Congratulations on the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution.

I wish you victory.

God bless our country, our beloved Georgia!

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia