This year draws to an end, and it has been a truly challenging one.
Russian invasion of Ukraine. Price hike that hit especially hard on many households. Global pandemic that is slow to recede.
But it has also been a special year.
Special because it made us appreciate our real values more vividly.
Values like security and peace in our homes.
Values like Latvian language and Latvianness – the cornerstones of our nation.
Values like getting rid of occupation monuments and mental legacy of Soviet colonialism all over Latvia. Latvia has cleansed itself of these mental stains.
Values like unity of our people in supporting and helping Ukrainians.
But the dearest value of all is Latvian State – the product of our efforts and the shield that protects us.
This year, 2022, has shown that we stand on incredibly firm ‘ground’.
We have grown stronger as we have passed numerous tests.
We have to carry this confidence into the next year. War in Ukraine, global recession, high energy prices are likely to continue into the next year.
But there is a strength on which we can rely. Our confidence in what we desire.
We want to be modern, Latvian state of Latvia that shares solidarity with other European countries.
It is the clear objective that unites us. It is the beacon that guides us through the storm.
It is the clear objective that helps us see what is important in myriad of things we need to do. See what needs to be done right away and what can be done later.
It is the objective that determines the unequivocal national agenda for 2023.
Main priorities of it are external and internal security, economic transformation and efficient support to more vulnerable sections of society.
Next year will be the Song and Dance Festival year. This 150-year long tradition is the very core of our national culture. And Latvian culture is the basis of our state.
Let us work hard and mark this great celebration of Latvianness with pride that will make us even stronger, more united and inspired.
Dear Latvians, people of Latvia,
Latvia is like a major oak. Its strong roots keep it intact even in the raging storm. It is our collective experience as a nation. Our ability to rise above and withstand any hardship.
Its canopy is comprised of all the good we do. And each generation contributes to its lush foliage.
When going gets tough, its shade gives the much-needed safety for all. It has space enough for everyone because no one should be left behind, without protection.
We make Latvia better by believing in ourselves, being responsible and taking care of our near and dear ones, the common good of all.
Thank you for that! Each one of you and all together.
I wish you lots of love and satisfaction for what we have achieved!
I wish everyone lots of energy, optimism and luck in future endeavours!
Happy New Year 2023!