3 January 2013 | 21:09

New Year speech by President Rosen Plevneliev

Dear compatriots,

The last minutes of this year are ticking away. In the company of the people closest to us, we reflect on what has happened, share our plans and dreams.

I am sure that we would all like a New Year to abound with good and to turn our backs on that which is bad. But the bad does not pass us by. Last year was marked by floods, earthquakes and a terrorist attack. I believe that the difficulties have made us stronger and more united as a people. This we learnt too from Patriarch Maxim, God rest his soul.

The world has been in a crisis for five years now, but our income and prosperity depend mainly on what we produce, how we use resources, how effective we are as a nation.
We should not wait for the crisis to end or every election to promise us everything, but we should roll up our sleeves and sort out our country and our lives. Day by day, together and in the right direction!

Because we all want to live with dignity in a comfortable and modern Bulgaria. This can be achieved only by the joint efforts of the millions of Bulgarians, looking in the same direction and sharing common values. Each of us can contribute to a better Bulgaria in 2013. It is not difficult, it requires determination and it depends on all us. Every parent can give love, education and morality to their child. It is up to each of us to have a position on the issues in society and to defend it. Ahead of us are the first referendum in the democratic history of Bulgaria and the upcoming parliamentary elections. Let us all in 2013 be more active and defend our right to justice and solidarity. This will strengthen civil control over the politicians, because democracy is freedom, but it is also responsibility. To correct that which is bad, but also to have continuity and sustainability in that which is good, because we are not so rich that we can always go back and start again from the beginning. We must get away from nostalgia for times past and develop our own identity as an honorable people of the 21st century. Because the world is evolving and does not wait for us. Today we do not compete with ourselves or with the Balkans, but in a world that is changing rapidly and that is highly competitive. Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Europe, a country of ancient culture, a rich history and with unique nature. This obliges us to behave like Europeans and to add value and strength to our European family.

I believe that the future belongs to the educated, to entrepreneurs and to the societies that build countries that are based on functioning institutions and shared values, rather than the expectation that someone else will solve our problems. Societies based on trust among people, in which there is help for those in need, but also in which there are opportunities for everyone to succeed. Let us be diligent and honest in our daily lives, to turn our backs on that which is bad and on self-pity, to seek the meaningful and the positive. To raise our children as thoughtful, confident, tolerant and good people who are inquisitive and ambitious to try. We should explain to them that money is not an end in itself but a means to human development and dignity. With young people educated in such values, that is the kind of state we shall achieve. The children of Bulgaria have given us much reason to believe in the future and to be proud of them. This year too they conquered world championships, won many awards and proved to be talented, knowledgeable and ready and able to face the challenges. My hope comes from the example of 15-year-old Mario from Belogradchik, which touched the hearts of thousands of Bulgarians, helping a child in need. We are proud of Petar Petrov,who helped rescue more than 500 people from the sinking Costa Concordia. We honoured Plamen Petkov, who sacrificed himself to save a drowning child in England. We remember too the heroes of Sinemorets who saved lives but gave their own. These examples give me faith that in the new year 2013 we will grow more united as a people and more committed to each other.

I also wish to turn to those of you who are outside Bulgaria – I believe that all of us should work together for the success and good name of our country. Wherever you happen to be in the world, you should know that there is a place where you are loved and awaited. At home. To all of you and to the Bulgarian military personnel, on missions around the world, separated from loved ones, I wish good health, happiness and luck.

Dear compatriots,

Let us welcome the new year 2013 with more confidence, optimism and faith in our overall success!
Happy New Year!
Be at peace and be blessed!