More than 120,000 People in Georgia took part in the March for Europe

World | June 21, 2022, Tuesday // 10:39|  views

More than 120,000 Georgians marched in the streets of Georgia in support of the country's EU bid, days after the European Commission recommended postponing Tbilisi's bid, AFP reported.

Waving Georgian, Ukrainian and European flags, thousands of protesters flooded the main street in the capital, Tbilisi.

It is considered the largest demonstration in the country in decades, with at least 120,000 people taking part, according to an AFP estimate based on video footage from drones.

At the March for Europe, as the event was named, many carried "We Are Europe" posters as they sang the EU's anthem, Ode to Joy.

The rally was initiated by leading pro-democracy groups and backed by all opposition parties, and aimed to "demonstrate the Georgian people's commitment to their European choice and Western values".

"Europe is a historic choice and aspiration of Georgians, for which all generations have sacrificed," organizers of the rally said on Facebook.

One of the organizers, human rights activist Shota Digmelashvili, read a manifesto announcing a new rally on Friday and the launch of a "new people's movement" that will include opposition parties but be dominated by civic activists.

"We will formulate our demands to the government, and if it fails to meet them, the force of peaceful resistance will sweep away all those who are derailing Georgia on its European path," he said.

"People's anger will be directed against (the founder of the ruling party) oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is believed to be failing the country's EU membership," AFP reported.

On Friday, the European Commission recommended that the European Council grant candidate status to Kyiv and Chisinau. By the end of the year, the EU will assess whether and how Georgia meets a number of conditions for candidate status. On Monday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Georgia needed more reforms before it could join the bloc.

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Tags: Georgia, EU, European, Tbilisi


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