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On 10 January 2012 President Ivan Gašparovič and his wife Silvia Gašparovičová have welcomed more than two hundred foreign diplomats accredited in the Slovak Republic at the traditionally New Year´s meeting at the Presidential Palace in Bratislava. The meeting was attended also by the Minister of Foreign Affaires Mikuláš Dzurinda and his wife.
In his ceremonial speech Ivan Gašparovič assessed the last year as difficult, marked by crises, natural disasters, concerns about social security, the future European cooperation and about peace in the world. For Slovakia it has not been an easy year but the Slovak economy, despite the difficult external conditions, remained a relatively good performance. "The Slovak foreign trade ended with positive numbers, our banking system is also healthy. These facts and the high social patience of Slovak citizens created conditions for maintaining the economic and social stability of the state. At the time when the country should firmly unite and mainly focus on maintaining the standard of living, employment, reforms and maintaining the functionality of the European Union and euro zone, our government has fallen," he said.
At the end of his speech to foreign diplomats President of the Slovak Republic expressed confidence that they will drive the strengthening of our bilateral and multilateral cooperation. "I would be glad if you continue to retain the favor of the citizens of this country. You know that during the long history our people thanks to diligence, perseverance and humility survived all the difficult tests. These are the qualities and values that will help us to overcome also this difficult period," he said and wished the present ambassadors and people of their countries good health, a successful and peaceful year.
For the guests traditionally spoke the doyen of the diplomatic corps H. E. Mons. Mario Giordana, Apostolic Nuncio of the Holy Church in the Slovak Republic. He expressed his hope that the new year 2012 will help us move forward with greater confidence and will bring positive results.