Bulgaria’s President Praises Disaster Relief Volunteering in New Year’s Address
In his New Year’s address to the nation, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev cited volunteering as a bright example of social solidarity during the critical periods in 2014 when the country was grappling with the damage caused by natural disasters.
Plevneliev drew attention to the role of “volunteers, donors, young people, and entrepreneurial and active citizens, who showed us the right path and infused society with optimism and proved that we can succeed through joint efforts.”
He insisted that politicians had to respond to the expectations of society and speed up much-needed reforms, thereby ensuring efficient institutions and the rule of law.
“Many of our compatriots nowadays live below the poverty line. All of them deservedly expect solidarity and support from the state. Let politicians show common sense and a responsible approach and justify the expectations of citizens about stability and progress. Let them prove that they serve society and work for the benefit of the people,” he declared, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio.
Plevneliev reminded that 2014 had been a difficult year marked by political instability, early elections, unceasing domestic and international crises.
“We were hit by grave natural disasters and incidents, with innocent people dying and thousands losing their homes. However, we did not remain indifferent to the pain of our compatriots in need. Although they did not have much, people managed to set aside money for the ones hit by natural disaster, the socially underprivileged, and the refugees,” he emphasized.
He pointed out that Bulgaria needed functioning institutions in order to move forward.
“In order to have economic growth, dignified pension rates and incomes, and in order to support the socially responsible economy and not the oligarchic economy, and to build efficient institutions, we need political courage for reforms,” Bulgaria’s President said.
He noted that giving up on reforms and resorting to revanchism were shortcuts to permanent instability, as had been made demonstrated by the fact that Bulgaria had had five governments and three parliaments in two years.
“We achieved quite a lot. Democracy, freedom, as well as integration into the EU and NATO, are all undisputed gains for Bulgarians, but they also entail responsibilities. EU membership is not measured solely by EU funds but most of all by the shared values of rule of law and human rights,” he argued.
“Dear compatriots, tonight, in the company of the closest ones, we welcome the New Year full of hope. May we be healthy, may we live and prosper together, and pursue and fulfill our dreams. Let us warm the hearts of the ones in need of help and support,” Plevneliev stated.
“May the New Year bring peace, love and prosperity to all Bulgarians across the world,” Bulgaria’s head of state concluded.
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