With the good and bad, the year 2014 will be over and history in a few days. We are all enraptured by the holiday rush, we are all penetrated by its spirit and magic. And, as always, when we bid our farewells to a year, we put all our thoughts, hopes and expectations in a better and more prosperous New Year. However, at the same time, since the turn of the year is always a good time for retrospection as well as for making plans for new projects, dreams and hopes for the future, we draw the line and count the achievements and failures of the year that is ending, shaping up new and beautiful projects for the year that follows.
To Romanians, the period preceding the Holidays is not just an opportunity for joy and preparation, with big hopes and expectations, of the ‘to do list’ for the coming year, with lessons learnt from the successes and underachivements of the year that ends. This period before the winter Holidays also has other emotional connotations and deep and profound meanings, as it is the time for a pious and respectful remembrance of all those who, in December 1989, took to the streets to overturn the dictatorship, putting their lives on the line in exchange for freeing the country from oppression, dictatorship and grief. If it hadn’t been for the blood shed, for the sacrifice of those heroes, we, our children wouldn’t be now enjoying the privileges offered by freedom, democracy and rule of law. This is why the sacrifice of the people who perished in December 1989 on the altar of freedom, be it in Bucharest or Timisoara, Sibiu, Brasov, etc will always remain alive in our memory and souls, as well as in those of the coming generations.
These days we are celebrating 25 years of freedom and transition, of re-replacing Romania on the map of nations that build a dignifying and deserved future at a political, economic, social and international relations level. These have not been easy and simple years, but on the contrary. Many things have been built as we went, with difficulties and clumsily perhaps at the beginning, but, slowly, step by step, difficulties have been surmounted one by one. These have been years with many successes, some born with difficulty, but also years when some of the things failed, stagnated or were not accomplished at the pace the people would have wanted to see. These have been years marked by political dissension and quarrel, of a disunited political community, however one that was eventually able to find a consensus on matters of major and crucial importance to the country. These have been years of recession and economic stagnation painfully sensed by the population, some of us saying huffily: ‘we accept to be a sacrificial generation, as long as our children do not suffer and have a better future’.
But these have also been years of economic growth, such as this one that is ending and as 2015 appears to be, although this growth on paper in economists’ statistics has not been immediately reflected on the level of perception of Romanians regarding their daily living.
Shortly we will be living the magical moment when all of us, with our family around the Christmas tree, will emotionally open the gifts Santa left for us. At the time when this column is being written, Santa is definitely very busy at his home, in Lapland, reading, together with his elves, the millions of letters received from all over the world, as well as packing up the gifts and load them onto the sleigh pulled by his reindeers. This is why I suspect he is not going to have the time to read here what I wish from the bottom of my heart for me and my beautiful family, I think I’ll just e-mail him later.
Apart from what he will personally bring to every family, Santa Claus has already made some important gifts to Romanians towards the end of 2014. In the last days of 2014, Santa brought us the 2015 budget and the socials security budget voted by Parliament, with the prime-minister and relevant ministers’ promise that 2015 will not bring further tax burdens on the population. But also the Opposition’s decision to challenge the budget law in the Constitutional Court and the PM’s call to responsibility, with the argument that contesting the law before CCR will generate social issues transiting to delays in the payment of retirement benefits and allowances. In addition, at the end of the year, Santa is bringing Romanians new prospects in what regard the major objectives of the country towards consolidating its European Union membership, be it joining the Schengen Area, the euro-zone or the approval of 2014-2020 operational programmes for technical assistance or competitiveness by the European Commission.
Last but not least, Santa Claus has brought to Romanians a new president, Klaus Iohannis, whose presidency was officially inaugurated two days ago. A president who won the election coming on a major wave of expectations of Romanians, both those living in the country and those living abroad. A definitely DIFFERENT president, in whom Romanians put huge hopes, one who seems determined not to disappoint. A president with ambitious aims on his agenda, who, in his inauguration speech, promised to devote all his energy for the spiritual and material prosperity of the Romanian people, to reform the political establishment and the main state institutions, to support and start the review of the Constitution.
There is no doubt about the fact that the future sound very well for Romanians and Romania, who deserved a DIFFERENT president.
There is still a lot that could be said in such a column seeking to assess the past, pin point expectations of the new year and the new president of Romanians. But we will have plenty of time to discuss these topics in the future. Now we should give Mr. Klaus (Iohannis) a break and hurry to greet… Santa Claus. Shortly we will hear from speakers ‘Santa Klaus is coming to town’…pardon, ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’.
Actually, the names Claus and Klaus are not just similar, but the metaphor above is as suitable as possible given the context. Millions of nice thoughts, hopes and expectations for a better future are now flying in the direction of both Santa Claus and Klaus (Iohannis).
May they all these hopes and expectations come true for all of us!
Until we meet again in this column, I would like to end with the best wishes and greetings to our readers. Not before thanking you for always being by the side of NINE O’CLOCK, I wish you all ‘Happy Holidays!’ and a good and prosperous New Year, full of luck and results in all that you intend to do! Happy New Year!