It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you this evening to this highly popular event dedicated to “The Sound of Europe”.
These are very special and dynamic times for Latvia. In recent years, Latvia has gone through a deep economic crisis which it managed to successfully overcome. We have undertaken far-reaching reforms and overhauled our economic structures. Today, Latvia is the fastest growing economy in the European Union.
Latvia is proud to be the 18th member of the eurozone and stands ready to help shape the Europe of tomorrow. We are grateful to our German partners for supporting us on this path.
2014 will give us even more reasons to celebrate: In 2014, Latvia’s capital Riga will be the European Capital of Culture, offering a broad range of wonderful events, which will reflect both the traditional values and modern outlook of our country. In addition, we will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our joining the European Union and NATO. And in August 2014 we will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the “Baltic Way”, the peaceful demonstrations with which the Baltic countries expressed to the whole world their firm determination to regain freedom.
I hope you will enjoy the musical and cultural diversity of Latvia which will be presented to you here today!