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Ponta Delgada ,  December 21, 2019

Christmas Message from the President of the Regional Government of the Azores

On this Christmas Eve, when all our islands celebrate the Birth of Jesus, Hope and Renewal, I want to begin by addressing the Azoreans for whom this is not entirely a time of Joy, Comfort or Peace.

Whether by circumstances that may be in their power to change or by circumstances beyond their control, I want to offer everyone, especially today, the message that they are not alone in this struggle in the face of life's tribulations, be they illness, loneliness, job search or discouragement.

 And I want to tell you that the work we do every day is also an answer to these needs that we seek to address. 

Throughout this year, which is about to end, we have faced many and varied challenges and have managed to overcome them with determination, hard work and unity. 

Still recently, at the beginning of October, our ability to overcome challenges was once again tested when our islands were hit by a hurricane that caused huge material losses.  

In this regard, as in so many other circumstances of our life, the question is not whether we have challenges, obstacles or difficulties to overcome. We will always have that.  After overcoming some challenges, others will emerge, perhaps different or perhaps similar.

The question is what we do, how we do it and which results will we achieve.

But, above all, the question is whether, in the face of a challenge, an obstacle or a difficulty, we focus on the problem or we focus on the solution.

What the Azores and the Azoreans have done is, precisely, to search for solutions and deliver results. 

We have done in using our Freedom, exercising Democracy and fulfilling our Autonomy.

In our journey, these three pillars, which are also the pillars of our life as a People, it is very important that we never forget that none of them is absolutely safeguarded, nor is eternally guaranteed. 

Therefore, even in the most demanding analysis, even in the most vigorous debate or even in the most corrosive criticism, we must never forget that we can only live them and as long as we are free, respect each other and have the ability to, as Azoreans, become the builders of our future.

Christmas is the time when we celebrate our lives and gain strength to have more hope and be reborn for a New Year, with commitment, with courage and with determination.

It is also a time of peace, serenity, reflection and understanding.  

A time to understand ourselves, to understand each other and, remembering the loved ones we lost, to reflect on the meaning we give to our lives, whether in the struggles we have fought for or in the victories we have achieved.  

A time for each one of us to think how fragile life is and, bearing in mind this thought, we can, to some extent, reflect on the paths we want to follow, the mistakes we must amend and the opportunities we want to seize to make a better future.

These words I offer you are intended to convey that we are a Region and a People that, in the face of the challenges of the Future, are not afraid and we will overcome them.  

We are satisfied with the path we have followed and with how much we have achieved, but we want accomplish more... we will achieve all this by taking care of our fellow citizens, especially those who are in a more fragile situation.

We will do this by looking after and caring for those who are by our side and, when, for whatever reason, we fall or have doubts, help us to rise and to rise even stronger. 

Therefore, these words are more than a wish offered by the President of the Government of the Azores. they are a way of expressing the feeling of a People, who, whenever and wherever is necessary, remain united and side by side, leaving no one behind.

Much remains to be done, but in the end, it is all this that defines us as a Region. The ability we have and will always have to never forget what is most important and to build a Region that can always be proud of its path.

To all the Azoreans - whether they be on our nine islands or in the vast Diaspora around the world - as well as all those who feel this land as their own, I wish, on my behalf, on behalf of my family and on behalf of the Government of Azores, a Merry Christmas and a New Year full of achievements and success.

Season's Greetings!


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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