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Katerina Sakellaropoulou: Year of hope and recovery in 2021 – What she says in her New Year’s message

In a pandemic, economy and national issues, the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou refers in her New Year’s message, to underline in conclusion that “2021 will be the year of hope and recovery”.
In her reference to the socio-economic situation, Katerina Sakellaropoulou states emphatically that “it is important to support those most exposed to the crisis and to maintain social cohesion”, moreover, she adds, “but our country cannot afford another economic adventure”, which is why “public policies, national and European, must be remedial and in accordance with the principles of justice”. On national issues, the President of the Republic sends her own message, saying that “we have shown determination and calm in the face of the escalation of Turkish provocation”, while underlining that the 200th anniversary of the Revolution of 1821 is “an occasion to draw inspiration from the self-sacrifice and heroism of our ancestors”.  In the introduction, Mrs Sakellaropoulou takes stock of the year she leaves: “In the year she leaves, many difficulties arise. Not only in our homeland, but all over the planet, the coronavirus pandemic overshadowed every other event. Societies have been shaken and mourned. The thousands of victims of the virus are our saddest account. Losses in silence and loneliness, which not only burden their loved ones, but collectively injure our people who honor the human value and sanctity of life.
We have been living for many months with unprecedented limitations. Many of our plans were aborted and fear captured our spontaneity and sociability. Family, work, education, fun, even our simplest habits, were deeply affected. The state itself has been tested and has reached the limits of its endurance.”
“Doctors and nurses, it’s an example of self-denial”
He then makes special reference to the NHS and the unsung, as he describes it, heroes of the pandemic: “The daily struggle of the National Health System and its people, doctors and nurses, is an example of self-denial. A battle often uneven, in adverse conditions and shortcomings that cover, as far as possible, the unsung heroes of the pandemic. Those who teach in practice the value of solidarity and care for each other. That is the duty of all of us, as much as it is for everyone. In the unnatural condition of social distance is cultivated and binds us the warmest mental and material support, the undivided assistance to those in need. We realized again, in the pandemic, how vulnerable we are and how dependent we are on each other. And this experience is our precious baggage for the next day.”
But, continues the President of the Republic, “the most optimistic message for the new year has already arrived: we now have the vaccine, the passport to our freedom. A historic achievement of the global scientific community that exceeded all expectations. Vaccination is an act of respect for the self and of society as a whole, the most effective, according to the suggestions of experts, a shield for the protection of personal and public health. But the road back to normality is not short and easy. We will all go through it together, gradually leaving behind our reservations, carefully and coordinated, following the health protocols, until our ultimate goal: the immunity of the community.”
From then on, “by shielding our health, we are taking the first and decisive step to win back our lives. However, much remains to be done: it is important to support those most exposed to the crisis and to maintain social cohesion. Corovirus didn’t just threaten our lives and health. It widened inequality and brought about a new downturn in the economy. But our country can’t afford another economic adventure. Public policies, national and European, must be remedial and in accordance with the principles of justice, so that the wounds of the pandemic can quickly heal.”
“We have shown determination and composure in the face of the escalation of Turkish provocation”
On our national issues, he says, “we have shown determination and composure in the face of the escalation of Turkish provocation. We have safeguarded our sovereignty, activated key alliances and highlighted our country’s major role as a factor of stability and peace in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Together with our partners, we are involved in shaping the European future, without losing our identity. Through its ties with Europe, Greece becomes stronger, resilient to every challenge and open to progress and evolution. That’s what our modern history shows us.
The year to come,” he concludes, “is a symbolic milestone for our nation. The 200th anniversary of the Revolution of 1821 is an occasion to draw inspiration from the self-sacrifice and heroism of our ancestors. To reflect on what we have achieved and to deepen our thinking and feelings. Our greatest strength lies in unity and cooperation. 2021 will be the year of hope and recovery.
I wish a happy new year and a happy birthday to all, with health and happiness.”
SOURCE RES ICM

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