Bratislava, January 1 (TASR) – We can only face the greatest modern health threat as a community, Slovak President Zuzana Caputova stated in her New Year’s speech on Saturday afternoon, adding that this requires a contribution of every one of us.
Caputova called for cohesion, humanity and the cultivation of relationships in communities and families. According to her, this is a way to a strong, resilient Slovakia, which can confidently face all challenges.
“If we can suppress friction and conflicts among us, our hanging together will be a huge strength not only in overcoming the current crisis, but also in our long-term efforts,” stressed the head of state.
According to Caputova, everyone is important in overcoming the pandemic. She emphasised the need for agreement on goals and starting points. “No matter how we may disagree on other things, we should be united in this. We all want to be healthy, we all want to live our ordinary lives again,” she said, asking people to try to make decisions according to their own heart, conscience and try to keep a human face. She asked them not to be provoked by hate speech.
The president also encouraged people to avoid “serfdom thinking” in which all restrictions are perceived as a fate from above. “We don’t see the responsibility, decency or consideration we voluntarily decide for as a dictate of regulations. After all, democracy itself is not based on enforced directives, but on the natural authority of the rules that result from a social agreement,” she noted.
Caputova described the past year as difficult, but according to her, people have already learnt a bit about living in new conditions and adapted to changes. She pointed to children who don’t know the faces of their nursery school teachers or students who had to get used to remote learning. “Seniors were limited by this situation in the most valuable thing as they haven’t been able to meet their children and grandchildren. Many people have found themselves in existential problems. But we are most saddened by the fact that thousands of people missed their loved ones at the Christmas table and when entering the new year,” she said.