Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to welcome – both personally and on behalf of President of Hungary János Áder – Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, the fourth President of the Republic of Bulgaria after the fall of communism. Mr. Plevneliev is a friend of Hungary, who has made a major contribution to the development of Hungarian-Bulgarian relations.
Over the past thousand years we Hungarians have known the Bulgarian people as a freedom-loving nation which shares a fate similar to ours, and which is proud of its Christian traditions: a nation which, thanks to its perseverance and diligence, has been able to find its feet – even in the most difficult situations.
We also salute Bulgaria and the Bulgarian people today, as they demonstrated much wisdom when they concluded that if among them there is someone able to work to advance their country in business life, they can in good conscience entrust the rehabilitation of their entire country’s economic affairs to that person. This was how they first elected Mr. Rosen Plevneliev Minister of Regional Development and Public Works, and then in 2011 President of the Republic. Since then the Bulgarian people’s decision has been vindicated. After the fall of communism, both as a businessman and politician, President Plevneliev played an important part in enabling Bulgaria to find its feet after the economic shock, and to return to Europe. Recently the Honourable President has worked tirelessly to assume an active role within NATO and the European Union. Meanwhile, as a patriot he is making every effort to help Bulgaria preserve its identity, its historical past and its rich and unique culture.
During your years as President you have been compelled to cope with difficult issues: you have had to cooperate with acting governments, you have personally had the task of raising the rank and prestige of the office of president, and you have been required to make wise decisions in delicate political situations. We are happy for your achievements, and are proud of what you have done, because in you we have got to know a person whom we may call a friend, and who is a worthy champion of the thousand-year relationship between the Bulgarian and Hungarian peoples.
On behalf the Hungarian nation, I wish to present you with this decoration in gratitude for the friendly relationship and dedication which you have shown towards Hungary.