President Iohannis: The National Day must be a new start after a difficult year marked by tragedies

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Tuesday that the National Day should represent a new beginning after a year marked by tragedies, which unveiled that some things are not functioning in Romania and which brought to surface “a profound desire of change” that must be answered by the politicians and the political parties.

“97 years passed since the Great Union in 1918. During all this time, the Romanian nation got a try-out of challenges, war, dictatorship, transition, revolt and disappointment, of crisis and austerity, but also of the need of change and search for hope. Every time, our nation regained its inner energy, the force and determination to build a better future, has always arisen to achieve the aspiration towards unity and freedom, and Romanians have always found the courage and voice, again and again,” the Romanian President addressed to the nation.

Iohannis said that he chose to celebrate December 1 “less pompous” this year, arguing that however it’s moment of “rediscovering the national pride”.

“I think it’s time to rediscover our national pride, but not like a slogan too frequently used and improperly used, not like a label that is covering the lack of trust in ourselves, but in an honest manner,” he pointed out.

“I know it’s been a difficult year for everybody, recently marked by tragic events which reminded us how many things are still not working, how many serious shortcomings we have in all systems. But they also brought to surface examples of courage, commitment and determination, and particularly a deep wish for change. We all have to answer this demand of change in the upcoming year- politicians, institutions, parties, civil society, mass media. We should consider the National Day of this year as a new beginning,” the President said in his message conveyed to the Romanians on December 1.

The head of state also underlined the need for a new beginning in the politics, while this won’t mean to sponge out the good things that have been done, but “a facelift”.

“We like it or not, politics is the one that gives the direction of a society and through which the people’s interests are expressed. We need a fresh start in politics (…) 2016 will thus be the year when we rebuild the confidence of the citizens in institutions, in parties, but also in the people that are running on their behalf,” Iohannis stated.

The Romanian president also reminded that we would be celebrating the centenary of the Great Union in three years, when we have the occasion to present a balance sheet of those 100 years of modernity. “However, it will also be a moment to draw up the next 100 years, to uphold what kind of Romania we want to endow to the next generations,” President Iohannis said, while adding that education and knowledge, respect for the material and spiritual values, for the cultural inheritance and patrimony should not miss the vision for the next century.

“I urge you to bear this day in our souls as a special one, when we are aware of what makes us closer and better, more united and solidary!

We all should be more generous with ourselves and to each other, as hate and split have never led to prosperity and have never moved a society forward. Unity, solidarity and consistency are the ways that will lead us to a really strong Romania in Europe and in the world! Happy National Day, Romanians! Happy National Day, Romania!” President Iohannis concluded his speech.

Later on the day, President Iohannis had a videoconference with the Romanian soldiers in the theatres of operations, telling them they are “the ambassadors of the Romanian spirit”, and that Romania is proud of them for their professionalism and dedication.

Klaus Iohannis gave higher ranks to several officers of the Interior and Defense Ministries and of the Guard and Protection Service, arguing this action is not just a symbolic one, but it is a sign of expressing support for modernizing these institutions, as the society has big expectations from them. The President also decorated more representatives of the Romanian Academy, of the Romanian Space Agency and of RFI radio, arguing these institutions have contributed to the effort of making Romania “a strong, prosperous country.”

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