Van der Bellen’s appeal: – ‘We need trust to survive’


In his annual New Year’s speech from the Vienna Hofburg, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen calls on the Austrian people to have confidence in their own abilities. He talks about the upcoming super election year, the climate crisis and why more rational thinking is needed. “Let’s talk more to each other, less to each other.”

“I have a wish…” Yes, many politicians have a dream (“I Have a Dream” is the title of a famous speech by Martin Luther King, note). Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, on the other hand, is satisfied with wishes, even if they are urgent.

In his New Year’s speech he asks – in summary – for more reason, trust, solution-oriented action, better coexistence and “a planet worth living in, an Austria worth living in” for our “peace-loving and benevolent performance society” – also for “the time after us”.

“Talk to each other more”
“We all have hopes and wishes for the new year. Here are some of my most important ones: I hope that we as a society can talk to each other more again. And less on top of each other,” said the 79-year-old.

“Not only entertained in the outermost areas”
“And, if possible, don’t perpetually fall into an either/or category. Let’s make sure we’re not just talking to the extremes. Let’s see what happens in the middle. And to reach that center, we all have to move. “That has always been the Austrian way and I hope that we will act accordingly in the future,” he emphasizes.

“In recent years we have gotten into the habit of talking mainly to those who already have the same opinion as us. And I believe that this is not good for our coexistence in the long run. Except it’s boring. Anyone who only allows their own opinion to be confirmed will never gain new insights,” he continues.

A year full of election campaigns awaits us
This year in particular, we will need the opportunity to talk to each other: there are several state elections, municipal elections, an election for the European Parliament and an election for the National Council coming up. And before and in between there is an election campaign.

Emotion as a campaign tool
“I have nothing against emotions, but in election campaigns they are usually used when there are no arguments. And then they rarely bring out the best in us,” he reminds us. He asks that “campaign parties” be “investigated and judged” based on what “they get out of people.”

“There will be time for us”
He also wants ‘more reason for our homeland’ and ‘reason in all political parties’. Because even after the elections we must ‘still be able to look each other in the eye’. Especially considering that there will be “a time after our time.”

“Facts don’t change just because we don’t believe them.”
Anyone who denies the consequences of global warming and the climate crisis is ‘ignorant’. “Science, facts and truth don’t change just because we don’t believe them.” There is no need to question facts that ‘cannot be disputed’. Energy should be used to “solve problems”.

That is why more trust is needed. Even if you are “viewed with suspicion or considered naive”. Trust in our ‘efficient society that is resourceful, compassionate and peaceful’ is simply necessary for ‘survival’, our head of state emphasizes. “And once you get in the habit of looking for the good things, you suddenly see more and more of them.”

Every individual contributes something to a good future. “Our strength and energy. Our curiosity. Our openness. Our solidarity. We all contribute something. With what we can do.”

“May 2024 be better than you expect”
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I want for all of us,” concludes Van der Bellen. “I am convinced that they will become reality. I wish you a great 2024. May it be even better than you expect. Thanks for your attention!”

Source: Krone


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