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What 2007 brought, and what a new year may bring

Monday, December 31
No year passes without its challenges, but 2007 brought an outsized share for Georgia.

Russia gifted its southern neighbour with trade embargoes and falling missiles, while severe unrest inside the country jeopardized—and called into question—progress made since the Rose Revolution.

And muting the New Year’s fireworks will be storm clouds, gathering days away from an uncertain test of Georgia’s modern statehood.

January 5 cannot be a democratic election now; instead, the day will have higher stakes and lower expectations. But it can still be a benchmark for Georgia. A relatively orderly election in January, and again in spring for parliament, would pave the way for true democratic strides—with unquestioned stability—in the future.

And if this year was difficult and the next may be more so, the country as a whole is better off than in the first decade of post-Soviet independence.

It is testament to the courage, faith and good will of Georgians that the nation has escaped the mire of civil warfare and systemic corruption. Many of those problems, or the threat of them, remain. But what was once a failing state can now speak realistically of NATO membership, of beneficial economic growth and real opportunities for young Georgians.

A beleaguered nation of believers continues to hope for good things to come.

The next edition of the Messenger will be Friday, January 4. We look forward to returning with the country’s best print news coverage, as well as up-to-the-minute election updates on our redesigned website, Thank you for reading the Messenger in 2007, and all the best for 2008.