NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY PRESIDENT ROSEN PLEVNELIEV2015-01-01 00:25:00
A difficult year is drawing to a close, which was marked by political instability, early elections, ongoing domestic and international crises. Natural disasters and accidents hit us – innocent people died, thousands lost their homes. However, we did not remain indifferent to the pain of our compatriots who were in trouble. The people granted the little money they had to show their commitment to those struck by disasters and in need of help, and to the refugees. The hand lent at times of hardship is a sign of humanness and the maturity of a society. We took up the causes of the volunteers and the contributors as our own personal cause. The volunteers became a symbol of compassion and the commitment to the Bulgarian people. Their deeds are a manifestation of the strength of our unity.
At difficult times for our nation it is particularly important to adhere to the high principles of patriotism and morality, and to the moral and spiritual values and traditions. We should show concern for the individual, because it is their victory, not the victory of any party or personality that matters. We should work so as to give all Bulgarians hope and more causes for pride. We should restore their confidence that we are on the right track. We should strive to achieve a better and more worthy life. Unfortunately today a lot of our compatriots live below the poverty line. The elderly, who receive small pensions, the underprivileged, the hundreds of thousands of unemployed and families that have to cope with difficulties with minimal incomes – all of them deservedly expect that the state should show solidarity and support. We should not mistakenly believe that we can promptly and easily achieve a high standard of living, particularly during a global crisis. However, if we fail to take measures to improve the business environment, to encourage investments and entrepreneurship, and to ensure education and learning, modernization and efficiency, good management of the public resources, we will fall behind even more.
Today the people are willing to have more stability, statehood and prospects ensured. We want democracy and the sovereignty of law and rules for everyone. However, to guarantee that we are all advancing, there should be functioning state institutions. This requires political courage and reforms to ensure growth, and provide worthy pensions and incomes, to support the socially-responsible economy, not the oligarchy, and set up efficient institutions. Refusing to implement reforms and displaying a spirit of revenge directly leads to long-lasting instability. The past two years in which we have had five governments and three parliaments prove this assumption. The politicians should show strong common sense and adopt a nationally-responsible approach in order to meet public expectations for increased stability and development. They should prove that they serve the public interest and work to promote public welfare. Politicians should resolve crises, not aggravate them. They should seek consensus on and meet the national priorities. The only way ahead is to solve our problems, not postpone their resolution. The state should aim to ensure the progress of everyone and prosperity by people working honestly and pooling efforts. It is important that as a society we develop and prosper together, observing rules, not at the expense of anyone else. We should never forget that democracy is not an aim to be achieved, but a process of constant adherence to principles and values.
Hopefully the New Year will be a better one for all – the people will feel that progress is made. The active civil society, which has adopted a clear democratic stance, is a guarantee for success and gives us the assurance to look ahead with hope. The people are aware of the situation the state is in. Public support is secured and reforms are expected to be implemented. Inactivity at times of crises is dangerous and unacceptable. Difficulties should unite us and further mobilize us. Volunteers and contributors, the young and the enterprising, the active citizens showed us the right path, imbued optimism and proved that if we pool efforts, we can succeed.
We have not only an aim, but also an ideal and direction set by the Apostle and the representatives of the Bulgarian national revival. We have achieved a lot – democracy, freedom, and integration into the EU and NATO – achievements which not only have no alternative for Bulgarians, but are also a commitment. EU membership is not assessed only through EU funds, but also and mostly through the shared values of the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Democracy should be defended! Prosperity should be cultivated! Freedom is invaluable!
Today Bulgarians can freely travel, study and work everywhere in the world. We have an active global Bulgarian community abroad. They are real patriots, they love their homeland, and I am sure that a lot of people will come back to Bulgaria because we are a people with strong roots. Bulgarian history, nature, culture and traditions, tolerance and hospitality are our wealth and we take pride in it. We should preserve this wealth for future generations and should show it to the world with dignity.
Tonight all of us together, with our closest relatives and friends, are welcoming the New Year with hope. Let us wish ourselves to be healthy, to live and achieve success together, to follow and fulfill our dreams. Let us warm the hearts of those in need of help and support. Let us support anyone in need, showing faith and compassion, attention and care. May the New Year bring peace, love and prosperity to all compatriots, wherever they are in the world.
Happy New Year!