Borissov: We proved capable of leading the region

Bulgaria convinced everyone in its ability to be an active and important member of the EU

Bulgaria has proven that it can be a leader in the region, concluded Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in a New Year's Eve address to the Bulgarian public, welcoming 2019. The premier wished a happy new year to all Bulgarians with a Facebook post uploaded at exactly 0.00am that read: “A difficult year filled with challenges is now behind us.

For the first time Bulgaria assumed the Presidency of the Council of the EU. We proved that we can be active participants in debates on the EU's future, migration, the bloc's enlargement policy to include the Western Balkans, and that we can stand up for our national interest on important issues such as the rights of Bulgarian citizens in the UK after Brexit.

We proved that we can be a leader in the region by constantly communicating with our neighbours on the realisation of joint projects and the development of all Balkan countries. Throughout the past year, we also worked hard on domestic problems. The budget plan now coming into force is the largest ever and includes growth projections for GDP, pensions, and salaries, with special emphasis placed on education and underprivileged people. In 2019, let us work together towards building on what we have accomplished and let this year be better for all! Happy New Year!”

Meanwhile, in the moments before midnight, President Rumen Radev made the traditional address to the nation, which was broadcast on national TV. “Most of us have the fortune of celebrating the arrival of 2019 with our friends and families. Others are still at work, while hundreds of thousands are far from the motherland. In the past months, some have lost relatives and friends. Others will once again spend the holiday in poverty. In those hours and over the next year, let us not forget them. When we open our hearts and reach out to the weak, we draw even more strength and meaning from the gesture than we give with it,” he said.

Speaker of the National Assembly Tsveta Karayancheva also wished a happy New Year to the Bulgarian nation. “Dear compatriots, I wish to you and all of us an optimistic outlook in 2019, positive emotions and the strength to believe in ourselves, to build up and preserve this seismic Babylon that is the Balkans, entrusted to us by our ancestors,” posted Karayancheva on Facebook. “I hope you have a great new beginning and new opportunities. And remember, we are the ones setting our inner boundaries, and it is entirely up to us to overcome them!” she wrote.

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