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Sunday, 31 December 2006

New Year Address of the President of the Republic of Poland

On 31 December 2006, the President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, delivered a New Year address:

‘Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year 2006 is drawing to an end. It has been a good year for Poland. A year of rapid economic growth, a year that has seen a marked decline in unemployment figures, a year in which investment, both domestic and foreign, has grown substantially. It has been a year that has seen decreased crime levels and an increased sense of security among the people of Poland. Finally, it has been a year that over 50 per cent of Poles are satisfied with – for the first time in many years.

The year 2006 is also a year in which we have sought to restore historical memory, notably the memory of our country’s most recent past; to reward those who at various times have fought for our country’s independence, whatever their present political affiliation. In 2006, we have also pursued a firm foreign policy. A policy of defending our interests, a policy aimed at securing for Poland its rightful place in Europe, particularly within the European Union, and in the global arena.

2006 has also seen disasters: the one in Chorzów early in the year, and the tragedy at the Halemba coalmine in Ruda Śląska at the end of the year. What these tragic events have shown, however, is that Poles are inspired by the principle of solidarity; inspired by the principle of solidarity in helping those affected by a disaster, those who are in need.

2006 has also witnessed moments of joy. The pilgrimage of Holy Father Benedict XVI, a pilgrimage that demonstrated our attachment to tradition, the attachment of most Poles to the Roman Catholic Church, that has today, after the long pontificate of the great Pole, John Paul II, a German, Benedict XVI, as its Pope.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Polish men and women, those at home and those abroad, working outside Poland, who often help earn a better reputation--a much better reputation--for Poland:

I would like to wish you as few cares as possible in 2007, as much joy as possible, happiness in your private lives and every success in your careers. And one more thing: may we be able to say at the end of 2007 that we are even more proud of our Motherland, Poland. Once again, all the best to you.’
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