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Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš' New Year message

Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš has released the now-traditional prime ministerial New Year message, broadcast by LTV immediately before the New Year message of President Egils Levits.

In the video Kariņš characterizes 2020 as "a year of tenacity and challenges" that was inevitably dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This unusual situation has shown us that we can achieve a lot when we act together, and achieve a poor outcome when we think only of ourselves," says the PM.

However, the perception that Latvia had done relatively well during the first wave of the coronavirus when compared with many other countries may have led to a certain complacency that meant the second wave has hit with considerable force, he admits.

He then goes on to praise international cooperation efforts the resilience and adaptability of the Latvian economy. 

"We are a strong nation. We have proven that we are able to confront any enemy. Together we must ensure that our own concerns, fears and fatigue do not become an enemy," he says, in what is likely an oblique reference to current misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19. 

Vaccination programs are likely take at least six months, so observance of anti-COVID habits will have to continue for some time yet, he warns, before concluding with a traditional call to reflect upon what's important and what's not as 2021 arrives. 

"What kind of person do we want to be towards ourselves, our fellow people and our country? What do we want to achieve and what kind of country do we want to live in? The story of the year 2021 lies in our hands," Kariņš says.

You can watch the full address above, complete with English-language subtitles.

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