Large-scale rallies were held in Tbilisi in support of Georgia’s integration into the European Union
Large-scale rallies supporting Georgia’s EU integration were held in Tbilisi on 20 and 24 June. According to Netgazeti, 140-160 thousand people attended the 20 June rally. Students from 10 universities joined the rally. The demonstration was mainly led by public figures and there were no political figures among the speakers.
MEPs Anna Fotyga, Rasa Jukneviciene, Markéta Gregorová and Andrius Kubilius addressed the rally on June 20.
The pro-European demonstration was assessed by the representatives of the government and the opposition. “The people that wants Europe came out at this rally,” said Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream party. GD MP Beka Davituliani reiterated that the June 20 rally was organized by people affiliated with the United National Movement, although his friends who support the ruling party were among those who attended.
“If the government is not deaf and blind, it should see and take into account what these people are saying.” – said Davit Usupashvili, one of the leaders of the party “Lelo – for Georgia”.
According to Netgazeti, 60-80 thousand people attended the June 24 rally. The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the Chairman of his faction in the Parliament of Ukraine David Arakhamia addressed the manifestation.
At the June 24 rally, the “Shame” movement made a specific demand to the government and demanded the resignation of Irakli Gharibashvili and his government by July 3, after which a technical government will be formed based on national consent, which will be assembled based on a compromise.
According to the decision of the European Council, Ukraine and Moldova have been granted the status of EU candidate, and Georgia – the European perspective. If the 12-point recommendations published by the EU are implemented by December 2022, Georgia will automatically become a candidate for EU membership.
A rally demanding the resignation of the government will be held in Tbilisi on July 3
The next demonstration organized by the civil society in Georgia will be held on July 3, at 20:00. As Shota Digmelashvili, a representative of the civil movement “Shame”, said at the rally in front of the parliament, the organizers of the rally will campaign in the regions of Georgia and gather citizens on 3 July.
He said that protesters will stay in front of the parliament building and will not disperse until “the oligarchy is eliminated.”
Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of the Georgian Dream, said about the July 3 rally: “On June 20, there was a rally around the idea of Europe. But when they proposed political demands, you see that only 10 000 people attended the demonstration. There may not be that much left [at the July 3 rally], there are a maximum of 10,000 people they can bring.”
He said that the organizers of the rally “with their political demands” do not have enough resources to “even half fill” Freedom Square.