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Kouchner, Bernard

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Libération - France | 28/09/2012

Georgia on the right path

Despite all the transgressions committed by the Georgian government Europe must not turn its back on the fledgling democracy, the French ex-foreign minister Bernard Kouchner urges in the left-liberal daily Libération: "This is not just about Georgia but about Europe's credibility with its neighbours. Even if many mistakes have been made Georgia has at least managed to establish a system that offers an alternative to the corruption and authoritarianism that are rife in this region. ... Naturally there is still plenty to be done and democracy must be consolidated. And of course the government bears responsibility for its transgressions and for the fact that Soviet-era torture has survived in its prisons. But now Giorgi Tugushi has been appointed as the new Minister of Corrections [after the previous minister resigned over the torture scandal], a man well-known for defending human rights and who has harshly condemned Georgia's prison system. Does that not send an unusual signal to the other heads of government in the region? Europe's democracies should not lose interest in Georgia as a young democracy."

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