TALLINN - President of the Estonian parliament Juri Ratas expressed hope in his New Year address that the people of Estonia will be able to better support one another in 2022 as well as be smart and keep their sight on the future in order to overcome crises.
Ratas expressed hope that Christmas and New Year passed in joy and security for everyone.
"I am sure that many of you had the chance to spend the holidays with your families and close ones, or peacefully alone. Meanwhile, there were others who because of their jobs or their own free will upheld the sense of security and holiday cheer of every one of us. They did it in rescue commandos, police force, health care institutions, businesses, production facilities, associations, authorities, shops, media, foreign missions, or other roles. I take my hat off in gratitude to all of you and hope that there was enough peace of mind and holiday spirit to reach you as well," he said.
"My hope for the new year is that we be able to support one another better. Those who share our beliefs but also those who challenge us in finding a common ground. The big should support the small, and the small should support the big -- both in the direct and the metaphorical sense. In politics and daily lives. Across the nation and in local governments. Face to face, in public space, and online. Estonia's success and happiness are best measured by those among us who have the least," Ratas went on.
The president of the Riigikogu said that one in ten Estonians live abroad for any number of reasons, one in five still live on the threshold of poverty, many are suffering from mental or physical abuse, too many have been subjected to unfair treatment through no fault of their own, and that the Estonian population numbers still keep declining.
If we want Estonia to be a good home for us all, what we most need are human relations and care for one another, he said. "We also need to be smart and keep our sight on our future, so that we should always be able to overcome the crises and stumbling blocks on our path," Ratas noted.
"Although our security might continue to be sound, the security environment is more strained than during the last New Year. Even though the economy is developing, many among us have become less certain of coping over the last year. We are a single nation and society but too many among us feel rejected. The health crisis has remained a sad fact and hundreds of people still had to spend these holidays in hospitals or in sick beds. The number of fatalities among us has been tragically high," he said.
The president of the Riigikogu wished for everyone to be fully committed to learning life's lessons in the new year, to take note of concerns, recognize red flags, and get everything under control more easily and early.
"All this to make the new year and the future centuries enjoyable for all of us and for the entire Estonia," he added.