In his late-night televised address to the nation on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution, President Saakashvili acknowledged that not all the expectations had been delivered and added that “our revolution will continue” unless the key tasks were fulfilled.
“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,” Saakashvili said and also added “maybe more could have been done” in past five years.
In his address Saakashvili also spoke about the August war and acknowledged for the first time publicly that “the Russian aggression, of course, made restoration of the Georgia’s territorial integrity more difficult.”
“We have become the major target of the world’s largest aggressor,” Saakashvili said. “We all know very well what a huge empire of evil is confronting us.”
“The aggressor has failed so far to achieve its major goal,” he said. “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.”
“Despite difficulties, I am sure, we have strength to stand together, to overcome this unimaginable barrier and to continue moving forward in order to defeat the empire and to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity.”
Saakashvili also said that despite difficulties, after the Rose Revolution “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,” he said.
He also said that part of Georgia’s population still lived in the poverty and unemployment still remained a huge problem.
“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.
He also said that “instead of celebrating” the fifth anniversary of the Rose Revolution, Georgia needed to show “watchfulness, bravery, patience and unity,” as well as solidarity towards those who have suffered the most as a result of the August war.
In his address Saakashvili also said that efforts should not be spared to turn Georgia into “fully free and liberal democracy, where freedom of speech is guaranteed in practice and not only by the law.”