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Dear Estonian nation, 

Another year has passed with its joys and sorrows. Let us hope that the new year will be better than the last. Let us hope that there will be more joy – for us, for our friends and for our country. 

Estonia will celebrate its 95th anniversary this year. The restored independence of the Republic of Estonia has lasted almost as long as the first period of independence, but this does not mean that we could rest on our laurels, so to speak, with no worries about the future of our country. 

Ancient Romans used to say that god was on the side of the stronger legion, meaning that god takes care of those who take care of themselves. This takes courage and determination, not to mention the wisdom to make the right choices. 

The world around us I relatively secure, time has been kind to Estonia and we have done our best to ensure this. We must not forget that the Estonian state will never be ready because the world changes very rapidly and we must react to the changes. 

This takes educated, smart people who are able to adapt, to go with the times and to look into the future. I am sure that it is not unexpected that I should once again implore all of you to educate yourselves. 

Learning is a task for the young as well as the elderly. The most important thing is that the young people get a good education and that knowledge of the highest global standard concentrates in Estonia. I believe that our young people are smart enough to fulfil their potential in Estonia and thus lead Estonia forward. 

In addition to youthful enthusiasm, we also need the wisdom of senior citizens to develop life in Estonia. It is important that the older generations also have opportunities to take courses and participate in labour market if they so wish and if their health permits. 

Dear compatriots, 

They say that poverty and wealth are nothing but states of mind. We always tend to desire what we do not have, what is out of our reach or has not been achieved yet. Something is always missing and people often tend to live in their desires and yearnings, forgetting how valuable that which we already have in our possession is. 

A while ago I heard a good, hard working man talking about his life on the radio. He had been born to a poor family but had managed to achieve everything that he had so keenly missed throughout his childhood and youth. He now had a lovely home and loads of possessions, but during his quest to achieve all this he had lost something that his childhood home had possessed: he missed the valuable nurturing warmth of a home, which no money can buy. 

Dear Estonians, 

As the President of the Riigikogu, I wish to apologise for the undignified actions of some MPs. Every false step by a politician casts a shadow over the Estonian politics and parliament. I hope that such cases will not be repeated. Anyone who has received a mandate from the people must be conscious of its value. It is difficult to win over the trust of the people, and yet so easy to lose it. 

To conclude, 

As you can see – another end of the world failed to turn up. Let us not be taken in by charlatans and astrologists; their predictions should be viewed with a sense of humour. The humanity still has many, many years ahead if we respect and protect nature and our living environment. Let us keep our optimism and smile to the people we know, our friends, parents and children. Let us also smile to strangers so that they will be happier too. 

Happy New Year! 

The Riigikogu Press Service