At a two-day conference in Tbilisi on reform in Europe's transitional democracies, President Mikheil Saakashvili praised the 2003 Rose Revolution for "shatter[ing] myths about Georgia" as a failed state. He added that popular trust in the government "has increased significantly" over the past two years.
"The state has taken on responsibility for its people. This is our biggest achievement," Saakashvili told conference participants on November 23, the official anniversary of the Rose Revolution, and a day of national commemoration for Georgia's patron Saint George.
In remarks to foreign reporters at the conclusion of public festivities, the Georgian leader urged observers to focus on "the future" rather than on "what happened two years ago." Education and health care reforms, along with clearing debt from the energy sector, are among the signs that Georgia's reforms have staying power, he said in earlier comments. "The most important thing is these institutions have become popular."
To read the full story
Elizabeth Owen is EurasiaNets Caucasus news editor in Tbilisi.