Dozens of pro-western Georgian winemakers have condemned homophobia, violence and anti-western attitudes earlier today, following the violent events of July 5-6, where right-wing groups physically and verbally assaulted journalists at the Tbilisi Pride counter rally, removed the EU flag twice from its position in front of parliament and burnt it.
The statement of winemakers underscored that the biggest enemy for Georgia is intolerance of minorities, ‘which has had severe consequences for us in the past and will only threaten us with destruction and stagnation in the future,’ the announcement stated.
The government must properly protect the constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens and hold anyone accountable before the law, who promote homophobia, intolerance, commits or calls for violence, be it a secular person or a representative or an ecclesiastical institution, a state official, a businessman or an ordinary citizen,” said the statement.
Georgian winemakers who signed the statement also call on other various professional circles to spread ‘similar responses’ regarding the issue.
It is our duty as a part of society to show that we, the business and creative part of Georgian society sharply condemn homophobia, violence and anti-western sentiments, which, unfortunately, the current government is stirring up,” notes the statement.
The statement also says that entering western markets was crucial for the development of winemaking, noting that today they not only sell wine at a higher price but also produce a much better product.
Today we feed a much larger segment of the Georgian economy than we could 10,15 or 20 years ago. The development of our field depends on our value and business connections with the west, which is a source of knowledge and nourishes Georgian winemaking with ideas and new creative impulses,” reads the statement.
About 50 people, representatives of small wine businesses, have already signed the statement.