Bulgarian President to Deliver His 1st New Year's Address
As Bulgarians prepare to celebrate at midnight Monday into Tuesday the arrival of 2013, President, Rosen Plevneliev is all set to deliver his very first New Year's Eve televised address to the nation.
The tradition of the Head of State to great Bulgarians just minutes before the arrival of the New Year, even though never passed into law, is one of the longest in the country.
It was introduced by Alexander Battenberg, the first prince (Knyaz) of modern Bulgaria, after it became liberated from Ottoman rule. At the time it was red by a herald on central squares; later distributed as a poster, read on radio and then on TV. The tradition was kept through the years of the Communist regime and by all presidents of the transition period.
For long years during the Communist regime, the address was delivered by Communist dictator and country leader, Todor Zhivkov, prompting a number of clandestine jokes.
After Zhivkov and the fall of the regime, Petar Mladenov greeted Bulgarians with the arrival of the new year once, Zhelyu Zhelev – 6 times, Petar Stoyanov – 5 times, and Georgi Parvanov – 10 times, ranking second after Zhivkov so far.
Plervneliev has recorded his address shortly before Christmas, the Bulgarian Trud (Labor) daily reports. The recording has been done for many years now in order to clean it from mistakes and lapses. It is usually written by several of the President's closest media advisors and PRs, and it is edited several times before it makes the final cut.
In 2011, Bulgaria's outgoing President, Georgi Parvanov, delivered his 10th and last greeting after two terms in office. In it, he called on Bulgarians to overcome pain, triteness and aggression with faith, wisdom and strength. He thanked all for the understanding, trust and support and the honor to be Head of State.