President Andrzej Duda’s New Year’s address, the unexpected abdication of the Queen of Denmark, the Russian attack on Kharkov and an important decision of the Council of the European Union regarding Bulgaria and Romania. Here are five things to know on January 1.
1. The president’s New Year’s address
After eight years, the parliamentary majority in our country has changed, but the most important task facing those in power has not changed – the need to take care of the security of our homeland, the safety of Polish women and men – said President Andrzej Duda in his New Year’s address. He called on “the government coalition to start observing the principles of a democratic state of law and respect citizens regardless of their political views.” He said he was “ready to cooperate on the most important issues for Poland, but he is also prepared for a situation where the government will not want such cooperation.”
2. Donald Tuska summed up 2023
We won democracy, we won freedom, we won our beloved Poland again. It is truly an extraordinary thing that we will be able to right wrongs so that everyone in Poland feels truly at home, said Prime Minister Donald Tusk in a recording summarizing 2023, which appeared on the Civic Platform’s profile on the X platform.
3. The Queen of Denmark announced her abdication
The 83-year-old Queen Margrethe II of Denmark unexpectedly announced her abdication on January 14, 2024 in her New Year’s speech. Her son will then take over the Danish throne, 55-year-old Prince Frederick. – It is time to pass power to the next generation – said on Sunday Margaret II, the favorite of the Danes. – Time is running out and diseases are getting worse. People can’t cope the same way they did before, she explained.
4. Bulgaria and Romania join the Schengen area
Bulgaria and Romania will be admitted to the Schengen area from March 31, 2024, announced the Council of the European Union. EU Member States have reached an agreement on this matter. The decision was made unanimously. The EU Council explained that thanks to the positive consideration of the candidacies of both countries, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria will be able to travel by air and by sea without passports to the countries of the Schengen area, which includes 25 of the 27 European Union countries. The zone also includes members of the European Free Trade Association: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
5. Attacks on Kharkov and Odessa
The Russians attacked Kharkov on the night from Saturday to Sunday. One of the rockets hit a hotel in the city center. At least 28 people were injured, including a British journalist. Civilians are suffering again, bullets are falling on residential buildings again. Ukrainians say: “The Russians gave us a gift for the New Year.”
In turn, on the night from Sunday to Monday, there was a Russian attack on Odessa with kamikaze drones – local authorities informed. The wreckage of a downed Shahed kamikaze drone fell on a skyscraper in Odessa, causing a fire. One person died.
Main photo source: EPA