November 21, 2018 § Leave a comment

Tbilisi, November 2018

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European Passport

April 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

"European passport, how cool is that?" The lady behind the registration counter is impressed. She turns the pages in my passport. "You sure have been around the world. How cool is that?" She looks at a lot of stamps.

Here in the South of the US, there are quite a few tourists in the big cities. But as soon as you are a bit off the main roads, you are deep down South and far away from what is happening in the rest of world,
Europe and elsewhere!

Georgia friendship

March 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

It´s been a while since I wrote last time.

Recently I went to Georgia to visit friends, or family. Actually it feels like family, not because we are related, but because its been a great and really close friendship over a long time.

Being friends in Georgia has quite a different meaning from being friends in Europe. Friendship in Georgia means to share, to participate in friends lives, to call and always make sure they are alright. Family members call each other almost every day, and the same with close friends. Just to make sure the other is doing well.

You can share latest news. Or just say “HI. You are all right?” If the answer is “YES”, the call may end after 20 seconds, or even less. If the answer is “WELL, …” the Georgia answer is equivalent to a European “NO” or “NOT REALLY…” In that case the call will go on until some good solution has been found to improve feeling or the situation.

Georgians share a very close-knit society. It is the secret how they managed to survive over centuries with their own culture, their language and even their unique writing.

It is great to have Georgian friends, or family.

 

 

Ukraine to the Ukrainians

February 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Feb20

Ukraine is in the middle of Europe – and in the middle of interests of Russia and the EU. At lot is at stake, for both sides, when Ukraine tumbles to be an unstable state.

Historically, Ukrainians are closely connected to Russia. The KIEV RUS are considered the cradle of Russia civilization. But even though there are common roots, a common time in history, Ukraine has a right to determine its own fate. After WW 2 Ukraine rose as a country of the new created map, set up by the winning allied troops.

The Ukrainians want free elections, independent law courts, freedom and self determination in a democratic country. They do not want a president who acts according to interest of other countries or in the interest of a small group of an economic elite, and who send out snipers to shoot downtown citizens. Those measures of politics remind me of old times when the center of power was still in Moscow alone. Have those times come back?

New elections seem to be the only solution possible, to bring back self determination to the Ukrainian people. Hopefully the three Foreign Ministers of Germany, France and Poland, sent to Kiev by the EU as moderators and mediators, will find a way to an agreement and new elections within short time.

 

Georgia: Democracy in Action

November 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

Giorgi Margvelashvili is the new President of Georgia. At the same time, Georgia is changing its political system into a  Parliamentarian Democracy. Georgia becomes the first real democracy in a post-sovjet state.

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Giorgi Margvelashvili won the presidential election of October 27. He is a close companion of Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvil, who took the lead in the past months, heading and uniting oppositon parties under one umbrella, the Georgia Dream party.

Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, had spent two terms in office and could not go for a third term. During a turbulent decade, Saakashvili – who came to power after driving out Eduard Shevardnadze in the 2003 “Rose Revolution” – cut corruption, built new infrastructure and revived Georgia’s economy. But people hold him responsible for having a major share in the war against Russia in 2008 and for police force used in prisons as well as undemocratic measures against civil society.

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Giorgi Margvelashvili will enter his office as a representative for his country, balancing head of the powers as well as head of the armed forces. He has an academic background in philosophy. I had a chance to meet him and talk to him one week ago in Tbilisi.

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October 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Changes

August 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Please note that my blog is continued as part of my website now. Thank you for following.

Please go to www.birgitwetzel.de

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