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Easter message from Prime Minister Janez Janša

Dear citizens, dear fellow Slovenians abroad, dear Friends,

Easter is a holiday of joy and hope. Both are very much needed in these difficult times when the world and humanity are facing one of the most difficult challenges after the Second World War.

The coronavirus is dramatically changing our everyday lives. The saying 'change is the only constant in life' holds true today more than ever. Nothing is as it used to be. This years' Easter is different from every other Easter we have ever celebrated.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the words 'God' and 'prayer' lately. One of the doctors who are dealing on a daily basis with the consequences of the coronavirus said that even people who were not religious prayed. It seems like in these dark times humanity has turned to God.

The coronavirus is testing our faith and hope. Human solidarity is put to the test. Solidarity among countries. The values on which the European Union is founded are also put to the test.

The whole world is facing this crisis. Every crisis is good if we learn something from it. If we learn a lesson, one that helps us understand why we have found ourselves in this difficult situation. I believe that we will succeed. As a nation, as Europeans, as humanity.

Despite the difficult times, or because of them, we can be all the more grateful for all those times when we demonstrated that as a nation we are capable of immense kindness, solidarity and willingness to help our fellow man – a neighbour, friend, stranger. We are grateful to all the volunteers who, given the lack of protective masks, have begun making them themselves. We are grateful for all the assistance and help provided by volunteers to the elderly or to parents who need childcare. We appreciate the selfless work of members of the Civil Protection Service, the Slovenian Red Cross, Caritas Slovenia and other charitable organisations that help those most in need.

Through the good deeds performed by many people the hope that God is always with us has returned to our lives. In the most difficult moments God is the one closest to us. As it is told in the beautiful story about a man who questioned the Lord: "In the sand of life I always noticed two sets of footprints, one belonging to you and the other belonging to me. But at the lowest and saddest times of my life, I noticed only one set of footprints." The Lord replied: "Of course, because when you saw one set of footprints it was then that I carried you."

The symbolism of Easter, which is the victory of life over death, is contained in that very message of hope I wish to share with you. When we win the war with the coronavirus we will not think of the suffering we have been facing but of God's blessing which has given us the wisdom to take the right measures and to find the power to deal with the virus. We will be grateful to have recovered from the disease. For the rest of our days, we will bear in our memory the good things that have come out during these difficult times. They will prove that we can overcome any experience as hard as this. In these difficult times this should give us confidence that we can overcome any obstacle in the future. 

Let us make this Easter more than ever a family holiday. Let us only celebrate it with our closest family members. According to tradition, on Easter Monday we should share the good news on the resurrection of Jesus Christ with our friends and rejoice together. Let the visits to our relatives and friends this year be replaced by phone calls. Let us write messages to them. Let us tell them that everything will be fine. Let us share hope and joy with them.

Although we have already reached the peak of the epidemic, it is still not over. It is the responsibility of the Government towards the citizens to lift the taken measures deliberately and responsibly. So far, all the measures are still in force. I would therefore like to ask you to act responsibly towards yourself and towards everyone around you also during these festive days. As you did before, continue to respect the measures we have taken so that we can stay healthy. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Stay home. Stay healthy.

God bless Slovenia.

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