1 January 2000
It is my deepest hope that the beginning of the new Millennium will mark a turning point for us all, with respect to human dignity and human rights. Our priorities should be health, education, equal opportunities, care for the underprivileged, the vulnerable and the elderly, as well as respect for and protection of our global environment.
Let us create a world in which our children will grow up knowing the importance of strong family values, within a society of peaceful co-existence. Let us offer them free, unimpeded education so that, when their time comes, they may strive for and achieve universal prosperity and happiness, which can be savoured by all. Let the coming years be remembered as the years of hope and of the final triumph of peace. As I said recently in a speech "We would be best listening to the whispering prayers from the people around the world, so they do not become the shouts of anger behind the gun".
We are at the dawn of a new epoch with great opportunities arising from our country's participation within the European Union. Free from the struggles of the past, with adherence to and respect for the ideals of democracy, united in a common cause, the Greek people can look forward to a new "golden era".
May I take this opportunity to wish all my fellow countrymen health, prosperity and happiness.