People React to Merkel’s Visit: “I want deeds, not words”

On August 23, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Georgia. She met the Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and answered several questions from journalists. The Georgian political world is busy and confident these days, but what about the natives? GEORGIA TODAY walked through the streets of Tbilisi to meet the people and understand their reality.

Vakho, a 32 year-old man is waiting at the bus station. In broken English, he told us how glad he was to host Angela Merkel “This is a true opportunity for both countries. Germany can provide us economic support, while we are a good ally at the Russian boarders”. Quite realistic, he knows that Germany is stronger than Georgia but he does not doubt that Georgia has several good arguments. “We are getting closer, like the recent military cooperation we had!”. For him, the meeting will lead to something good for Georgia, in particular a step forward in EU integration.

The Prime Minister said that “[Georgians] are part of European civilization and have contributed to the formation of the European values. Therefore, of course [he] believe[s] that Georgia will become a member of the EU and NATO.”

Soso is less confident, more “realistic” as he says. “For 15 years, US and European politicians have come and discussed. What are the results?” he asks. “Of course, I hope, like everyone, I hope that we can join NATO and the EU, but to be honest, I have more and more doubts about it. First, because of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, that we do not control anymore. Then, because foreign politicians speak, but do nothing more. I want deeds, not words,” he adds.

Tamta, in her early twenties, told us she did not listen the news about politics. “I am not interested, it's still words; a waste of time. “My country thinks that Russia is the only problem, that is wrong. Yes we are occupied, and I hope that Russia will leave our country, but we cannot just ask for Tskhinvali: they want to be a part of Russia, the problem is there. Our government should work to give them the will to join Georgia again.”  

Finally, where the politicians are enthusiastic not all their people follow suit. There is a divide between those who are confident, and others. Yet, they still have hope.

By Antoine Dewaest


24 August 2018 15:23