Europe Day Marked in Bulgaria
108 - POLITICS - EUROPE DAY - PARLIAMENT amplified2
Sofia, May 9 (BTA) - As part of Bulgaria's observances of Europe Day on Thursday, National Assembly Chair Tsveta Karayancheva opened the day's sitting with an address urging the MPs to "preserve the idea of Europe as an embodiment of hope for peace and understanding, and keep it vital and viable".
"Happy Europe Day! A Europe of freedom, a Europe of shared democratic values, a Europe of the common future. A Europe which the founders of modern Bulgaria have always looked up to from the first days of its independence," said Karayancheva.
She called for resolve to continue building Europe as a community of peace and freedom, democracy, а rule of law, mutual respect and shared responsibility, prosperity, security, tolerance and solidarity.
The parliamentary groups read out declarations.
GERB said in theirs that on May 9, Europeans celebrate the privilege to live in peace. "It is a day of our past, present and future," said the chair of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, Dzhema Grozdanova. She said that on this day the peoples of Europe chose cooperation over confrontation and prosperity over the ruin of military conflicts.
GERB voiced concern over the ongoing crisis of the European project, torn by internal conflicts and contradictions, and by external threats and challenges. They go on to call for keeping up "the vision of united Europe based on the Christian and cultural heritage and the traditional family values as a pillar of society".
Volya leader Vesselin Mareshki urged the MPs to not be divided into those celebrating Europe Day and those who celebrate Victory Day. "On this day of triumph over fascism, we must stay united and everybody should do their best for the prosperity of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian people and Europe," he said.
President Rumen Radev, who is also the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, participated in a wreath-laying event at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier in Sofia commemorating the 74th anniversary of the end of World War II. Also attending were Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov, the Chief of Defence, Gen. Andrey Botsev, veterans and representatives of military patriotic unions and various organizations.
Talking to reporters who were covering the formal event, Radev said: "We must never forget the lessons of history. Today we are celebrating Victory Day and Europe Day. Europe's top achievement is the European Union, whose top achievement is preserving peace in Europe for over seven decades now. However, the great idea of United Europe would not have materialized without the victory over Nazism and fascism. That is why we must cherish the memory of the millions who fell in the fight against Nazism."
The President urged that Bulgaria's contribution should also be remembered. "Thousands of Bulgarians were killed in World War II, we should commemorate them today. We should also show respect for the living Bulgarian veterans, who still set an example of patriotism and dedication to their country," said Radev.
The European Flag was flown in front of the Administration of the President in the presence of the head of State, MPs and representatives of the executive. IG/LN/LI/DD