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Sunday, 31 July 2022

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă attended the tenth edition of the "Haferland Week" cultural festival

Speech by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă at the tenth edition of the "Haferland Week" cultural festival

 

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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Your Excellency Mr President,

Your Excellencies Ambassadors,

Ministers,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Distinguished guests,

 

I am very glad and honoured to participate in the tenth edition celebrating cultural diversity by promoting the traditions of the Transylvanian Saxons in Romania.

The Haferland Week has become, thanks to an excellent initiative and a tireless effort, that moment of celebrating a sublime example of keeping the culture intact, inheriting some ethnic, linguistic and religious traditions that have found their place and due respect in the Romanian cultural heritage.

These days we are celebrating our common history, of the Transylvanian Saxons who stayed here, of those who come back to see again the place where their parents and grandparents were born, the villages where the same language is spoken.

Round the fortified churches and inside the Saxon citadels we are proudly celebrating today a community having spanned for nine centuries. A community that has shared tough moments or fast instants of history with the Romanian people. The Transylvanian Saxons have lived here, embraced by the Carpathians and by the respect of each one of us, as part of this nation.

Haferland is the blessed place in the heart of Transylvania, where one finds that interior peace sensation reflecting the soul of the people and a history teaching that unity, patience and tolerance are values making us go further together.

At an event that celebrates cultural diversity, I want to talk about what unites us all as a people, about the problems we have to overcome together.

Peace and the welfare of the nation and its members are the fundamental goals of any democratic society, at the same time, freedom is the supreme value of any person who lives within such a society.

The freedom to think, to be informed, to be educated, as well as the freedom to express one's ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity are all expressions of human freedom, equally protected and guaranteed by the Romanian state.

We see today what dramatic consequences arise when fundamental values are put at risk because of the war started by Russia in Ukraine, not far from our borders.

We know that our future and welfare in the ensuing years depend on how we manage these crises now, together with our European and transatlantic partners.

Therefore, the Government I am leading has this mission, not easy, to ensure political, social and economic stability, in a period with multiple interconnected crises and a war on the border, which changed the world we are living in.

Ladies and gentlemen,

"Show me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are? “says a wise folk saying. Our affiliation to Western civilization and the society of European nations requires us to share common values, not just common interests.

I am telling you clearly: Romania is a democratic state that has made considerable efforts in the last 30 years to be a reliable partner among developed Western societies.

We, the Romanians, chose this path when we removed the communist regime from power and we will not leave this path.

Democracy is a complicated political regime, it works best through consensus and cooperation.

Of course, in a democratic society, there are different visions and ideas, even the opposite, which must not become radical but must be tolerated in order to reach consensus and balance.

No democracy is perfect, but it is perfected through consolidation. We learn from each other and fight against any forms of authoritarianism, radicalization, or excesses based on nationalist-populist, racist or class doctrines.

At the same time, democracy must be defended, despite all the obstacles, continuously investing our energy and confidence.

 Only this way, by participating in democracy, will we be able to understand its values, respect them and pass them on to our children through education.

Alongside national sovereignty and the unity of the people, citizenship, the constitutional values derived from political pluralism and the rule of law, the right to identity represents one of the foundations of the democratic society in which we live.

As Romanian citizens, we are equal in rights and we are free to preserve, develop and express our ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identities, without discrimination and privileges.

As a European and democratic society, we cannot think of the world we live in from the perspective of exclusion, violence, in all its forms, or the right of the strongest.

As a democratic society, we must be strong and firm in defending our values. We must combat with all our strength those actions and speeches that promote hatred and violence within society and promote, through our actions and words, the democratic values on which the peace and welfare of our communities are based.

We must fight with all our strength the actions and speeches promoting hatred and violence in society and promote through our actions and words the democratic values on which the peace and welfare of our communities are based.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I conclude here by saying that Transylvania itself represents a model of tolerance and good inter-ethnic coexistence at the European level. You should be proud of this because this appreciation at the European level could not exist without your perseverance in the search for consensus and good understanding that must characterize the relationship between neighbours and friends.

I believe that the freedoms we enjoy, united in the diversity of the European Union, especially that of free movement, represent a reason for the hope that the millions of Romanian citizens, including many members of the powerful Saxon community, will find their way back to their homes, both at the time of celebration, but maybe also with the thought of returning home. It is our duty, of those who remain, to make sure that here in Romania, we preserve the treasures inherited from our history and enhance the chances of modernizing our country.

I want to congratulate you, the entire Saxon community, for the model of good coexistence and understanding that you have promoted for so long with your Szekler, Hungarian and Romanian neighbours, for the example of unity, respect and dignity that you offer in this space of diversity.

Thank you very much for this celebration and I wish you good health and many happy returns of the day!



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