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Sarkozy brings rotten carrot to Georgia2011-10-10 13:53
French president Nicolas Sarkozy is on a visit to Georgia after a three-year break. Tbilisi has made serious preparations to meet the VIP guest renovating buildings in Freedom Square where the French leader was to deliver a speech. Public sector workers, by the way, were forced to attend the event. The capital saw arrival of buses full of regional civil servants. A real feast that coincided with another holiday - Tbilisoba. Residents of Tbilisi jokingly renamed the holiday into Sarkozoba.
Georgia is the third country that Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting as part of his Caucasian tour. This week the French leader was in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Nonetheless, Georgian TV preferred not to inform the population of the republic about this fact. Instead, central channels were rotating a video calling people of Georgia to come to Freedom Square to hear the speech of "the savior". "He supported Georgia in a most difficult period of history. French president Nicolas Sarkozy is in Georgia again. He looks forward to reconfirming his support to Georgia", - InoSMI quotes an extract from the text.
Support? In the run-up to the visit Georgian mass media reported that Sarkozy was bringing a piece of advice to his counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili - to make peace with Russia. Once the leader of France managed to find a compromise that both Moscow and Tbilisi accepted. In 2008. But Sarkozy did not hesitate to use harsh words against the Georgian side then. As Ronald Asmus, executive director of Brussels Transatlantic Center, writes in his book, the French president was tired when he came to the capital of Georgia to settle the conflict. His demands to sign the treaty were pronounced emotionally. "Where's Bush? Where are Americans?! - Gruzinform quotes his phrases. - They aren't here to save you! No European has come! You are alone! Russian tanks will soon be here unless you sign the document!"
Against all odds, Saakashvili was willing to please his guest. A huge crowd of people was gathered in Freedom Square. Yet, these were not the French president's fans but public agents and budget sphere workers who were brought to the capital from regions. "Nicolas Sarkozy's visit will be a turning point in Georgian-EU relations", - Manana Mandzhgaladze, spokesperson for the president of Georgia repeated like a mantra. - His arrival confirms special support that our country receives from France and Europe".