President delivers lecture at Maastricht University
Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvsili delivered a speech at the Maastricht University after the special invitation of the University management. President spoke about the political transformation of the country and the growth of its role in the Regional politics.
Mikheil Saakashvili praised reforms in the country since 2004. On a lecture for students of the Maastricht University he said `Radical reform transformed us from failed state to regional leader`.
Mr. Saakashvili gave a short, half-an-hour-long presentation on how Georgia became a regional leader.
`Before the Rose Revolution we were almost a failed state`, he said, `but now we are the world leader in fighting corruption and opening economy`. President of Georgia explained that after coming to power he fired almost all policemen and bureaucrats, as they were deeply corrupted. New state is based on modern and minimal bureaucracy. Among the achievements of Georgia are electronic passports and IDs and extremely high GDP growths.
After a short prelection Mr. Saakashvili engaged in a debate with students and professors alike. When asked about relations with the European Union, he said he is certain that in the future Georgia will join the community as already now some heads of European states are hinting. Mr. Saakashvili emphasized that Georgia will soon start negotiations on comprehensive trade agreement with the EU and is likely to establish free trade with the US.
Asked about relations with Russia Mr. Saakashvili has answered that he is confident that Russia will change and will stop acting in "imperialistic hangover" once the people in power change. Mr. Saakashvili adds that he is ready to step down once his term finished and works on a constitution that will significantly limit presidential powers.
President was introduced to the audience by the chairperson of the University Executive Council, Professor Martin Paul.