To mark the New Year, Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia, has issued a video statement which ends with a musical cover version of Iakob Bobokhidze’s “Snowflakes” performed together with spouse Mette Hartzell and Georgian musician Zaza Khutsishvili.
The full text of the statement is available below.
The year 2020 was a very different year. The year when we all learned a new word: COVID-19. A tough year for many. A grim year for some, as some of us lost family members or loved ones to the pandemic, and others struggled under self-isolation or economic hardship.
But it was also a year that brought us closer together, in cooperation and solidarity. I, and many of my fellow EU citizens, will always be touched by the memory of Georgian landmarks illuminated in the colours of the French, Italian or Spanish flags in solidarity with these countries during the first wave. Conversely, I am proud that the European Union managed to stand up for Georgia throughout this crisis, delivering more support than ever before.
I am proud of my staff who worked relentlessly to making sure this could happen. And I am grateful to my colleagues from EU Member States who stood up together with us as Team Europe, funding Georgia’s anti-crisis plan, giving equipment to hospitals, helping vulnerable people, assisting businesses, or making sure that those that have been helping others had the resources to do so.
Special praise and gratitude goes out to all those who had to work harder than ever this year, in the first place to the doctors and medical workers here in Georgia. Didi madloba.
2020 was a year that started with a political crisis and ended with another. I trust that Georgia will overcome also this one, but cannot help but hope for the day when all the political energy that goes into fighting each other, will go into uniting this country and making it as strong as it can be – indeed as strong as Georgian citizens deserve it to be.
Georgia is a small country, but a great nation. Together you can realise your dreams and aspirations. Together you are unstoppable.
The holiday season is a period for reflection and rest. Many of us will not be doing this in the company of our families this year. My wife and I will be missing our two wonderful daughters, one of whom will be celebrating Christmas in Ireland, and the other in Sweden.
2021 will be starting pretty much the same way that this year ended. But it will be a year where the light at the end of the tunnel will be shining increasingly bright. A year when we hopefully can start filing the word COVID-19 where it belongs, in dictionaries and history books.
Let us treasure the bright moments together, carry each other’s burdens, and look forward to normal life returning to Georgia and the rest of Europe step by step.
From us to all of you, let us wish you a Happy New Year! Gilotsavt Akhal Tsels!
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