On Wednesday, 4 May, Ināra Mūrniece, Speaker of the Saeima, addressed the ceremonial parliament sitting in honour of the 26th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Latvia saying “What we need is to reach over the boundaries of our personal life. We need to do deeds that transcend time. We need a little heroic ambition for Latvia’s sake. Today on 4 May we celebrate Latvia, and it will live as long as it is in our hearts.”
The Speaker of the Saeima made a special mention of the members of the Supreme Council who voted in favour of the restoration of independence. “That is what made these 138 people heroes – they understood that the vote on 4 May was something larger than life, something beyond the boundaries of time And they cast it,” Speaker Mūrniece emphasised, also noting that on 4 May 1990 we regained our de jure independent Latvia, however we did not fully grasp how much time it would take to re-establish our own legal system, economy, security and democracy.
“Have we become a successful and excellent state now that 26 years have passed? Politically – yes. We are a member of the European Union, a union of 28 states and the largest economy in the world. We are a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, whose total number of soldiers between all member states exceeds 3 million. We have attained wonderful results in culture, sports, pharmacology, and information technology. There are many areas where Latvia – a country of 2 million inhabitants – has proved its excellence,” the Speaker of the Saeima said.
Speaker Mūrniece appreciated that a whole generation has grown up in the restored Republic of Latvia. She highlighted that since 2011 the demographic indicators in our country have started looking up and more children are born. She noted that we are also increasingly taking care of internal security; we have launched media support programmes in the Latgale region, started reinforcing the Eastern border, important amendments have been made to the Criminal Law. The Speaker of the Saeima noted, however, that these 26 years have not endowed everybody with the prosperity for which we all yearned and that political parties have been promising to their voters prior to each election. “I would like to stress, however, that the pledge of prosperity will only be fulfilled after a wide and strong middle class has emerged in Latvia. The middle class is the core of a strong country. If we deliberately work to increase the middle class, the loyalty to our state and its security will grow along with it.”
The Speaker of the Saeima said, that the middle class “should include teachers, physicians, civil servants, farmers, small and medium business owners. It should be constituted by people who take initiative, cherish their values and believe in continuity of generations. When we manage to find a practical answer to this question, then all the government action plans will easily fit into a couple of sheets of paper.”
Speaker Mūrniece emphasised that “there are hundreds and thousands of people in Latvia who are able and willing to go far beyond their personal interests, people whose daily work benefits our people and our country. We have such people all around Latvia. They are the teachers, medical doctors, the researchers of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis, who, in spite of the scarce state aid for science, continue to develop enterprises with a high added value.” The Speaker noted that people’s charitability is something very special. “It is a kind of movement, that society has set up on its own. It is a phenomenon much like the Baltic Way, where we joined hands in the name of freedom.”
In the conclusion of her speech, Speaker Mūrniece said that many of those who refused to vote for the Declaration of Independence, as well as their ideological supporters continue to long for the soviet regime; they celebrate our mistakes, undermine important decisions, refuse to recognise the occupation, scribble articles about a failed state, and propagate mistrust towards the future of Latvia. “Our response is our love for Latvia, faith in the future of our state, honest work, and constant improvement of our security,” the Speaker of the Saeima emphasised.
Saeima Press Service