Address of the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, on the New Year’s Eve
Dear fellow men and women,
Although each of us is different and unique, there are moments shared by all. One of such moments –when each of us and all of us together will enter the new year, the 2020, and the new, third decade of the 21st century for Latvia – is only minutes away.
Let me use this moment of unity to wish you all hope, faith and trust.
I wish you hope because hope gives life to our dreams. I do not mean the dreams we see at night. I mean dreams about our own and our Latvia’s future. Dreams that embody something that does not exist yet. A moral imperative. We must dream smart to be able to overcome the main challenges of the 21st century.
We need a new economic model celebrating the virtue of modesty instead of glorifying constant pursuit of instant gratification characteristic to consumerism. New consumption patterns, change of collective mindset, change of lifestyle at individual, national and global level. This is how we can reconcile our actions with common sense, our health, future generations and the nature around us.
We appreciate the technological progress and we should also root out all the side-effects of such progress and manipulative behaviours that threaten privacy and free will of people. We, the Latvians, who enjoy life in a developed and stable state, are co-responsible for and equally capable of finding the right response. Our dreams should always be bigger than individual aspirations. We need to respect the dreams of our fellow men and women because one day their dreams may become crucial.
I wish you faith. Faith in your own abilities, power to achieve goals and fulfil your most desired dreams. I wish all of us to be more confident in the future of our state. Not arrogance but healthy self-esteem which relishes whatever the next decade will bring.
I wish you trust in your own strength. We need to appreciate more what we have achieved over the last three decades since restoration of our independence. Latvia has returned to the family of world’s most developed countries, our scientists and artists have returned to and been embraced by global community, our businesses are no longer afraid of the global competition. Trust in our own power is a prerequisite for successful future of Latvia.
I wish all of you to trust your power. Such trust encourages us to act and constantly look for new problems to solve instead of succumbing to defeat. We all make mistakes. We just need to learn our lessons and move on.
We need to constantly engage in an open and democratic discussion to be able to agree on the best way forward for all of us.
We need conviction and courage to act. Inequality should not prevail and create an even greater divide between the ‘lucky ones’ and ‘losers’. Our decisions need to be well-informed, and we must own them. No empty promises.
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we must rely on our will and power to make our country better, make it a place where all of us feel at home.
I wish you hope, faith and trust, and above all, love. May love embrace our near and dear ones, everyone who lives in Latgale, Vidzeme, Zemgale and Kurzeme, all across our beloved nation. May love embrace all Latvians in the whole wide world.
Latvia has and will continue to prevail. Latvia is and will remain strong. Latvia is and will remain a country with amazing people. No matter what.
Happy New Year 2020!