Slovenia Marks National Day

Society,  25 Jun 2013  / By STA, T. M.

National Day (25 June), the day when it declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, was marked on Monday with a number of events. President Borut Pahor warned against wasting Slovenia's independence and stressed that Slovenians must remain the masters of their fate as he spoke at the central ceremony in Ljubljana, urging unity.

The president argued that the idea of Slovenia is based on reconciliation, while noting that this is not only about a state but about more than that - a homeland.
The president argued that the idea of Slovenia is based on reconciliation, while noting that this is not only about a state but about more than that - a homeland. "It is about the feeling of an authentic community that is not based on rights and duties bu

"We simply need to succeed, anything else would be a shameful betrayal," he said in Congress Square, adding that this is "our moral and civic duty to our brave and patriotic ancestors and above all to our children. We must not take these dreams away from them."

He assessed that the government, parliament and other state institutions have responded to the crisis with a move in the right direction, but too slowly and with too little determination. The crisis requires "a lot of unity, mutual respect, solidarity, confidence and bold steps," according to Pahor.

The president argued that the idea of Slovenia is based on reconciliation, while noting that this is not only about a state but about more than that - a homeland. "It is about the feeling of an authentic community that is not based on rights and duties but on a heartfelt membership of a community," he is convinced.

Before the main ceremony, National Day was also marked in parliament, with deputies meeting for a ceremonial session and Speaker Janko Veber delivering the keynote address. He said that the economic crisis had hit Slovenia hard, and that the way back would require a great deal of time, patience, reason and consensus.

Veber stressed that the idea of an independent Slovenian state, whose main goals were economic success, welfare and social equality, became true in the parliament building in 1991, when Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia.

This year's ceremony is introducing an honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace on an initiative from former Defence Minister Aleš Hojs. This special date in Slovenia's history will also be marked by the Slovenian Armed Forces and the police.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek addressed members of the Slovenian Armed Forces deployed in international missions via video conference, thanking them for their contribution to Slovenia's reputation in the international community. She said they were also Slovenian ambassadors and played in important role in the Slovenian foreign policy.

Earlier in the day, Pahor hosted a reception for the families of those who were killed in the 1991 war for Slovenian independence. He told them that there was enough of courage in Slovenia 22 years ago, expressing the wish for Slovenians to never lose this courage.

Traditionally, Archbishop of Ljubljana Anton Stres celebrated a Mass for the Homeland in Ljubljana's St Nicholas's Cathedral, saying in his address that the holiday is being celebrated in a discouraging and pessimistic atmosphere due to the lack of fairness, truthfulness, justice, mutual respect and cooperation.

The celebration of National Day was however not spared from controversy, as the opposition Democrats (SDS) protested against the presence of the red five-pointed star at the central National Day ceremony and in parliament. SDS officials boycotted both events and instead get together at an alternative event in Celje addressed by SDS head Janez Janša.

The SDS, under whose rule WWII veterans whose symbols include the red star were prohibited from attending the ceremony for the first time last year, argue the presence of symbols of the Yugoslav Armed Forces, an aggressor, and of the Communist regime is clearly incompliant with the Constitution.

The coalition Social Democrats (SDS) meanwhile argued that Slovenia was founded on efforts by a number of generations and movements, including on the WWII liberation struggle, and Positive Slovenia (PS) echoed the SD by criticising the "boycotting of national ceremonies because of a star that is part of our history".

MEP Lojze Peterle, who served as prime minister of Slovenia's first government, argued that polarisation brings neither clarification of facts nor catharsis, as it is only aimed at disabling the other side. According to him, the inability to overcome political divisions in the celebration of the holiday is a bad sign.

Tags: Slovenia, national day, Yugoslavia, independence, Borut Pahor




??, 26.06.2013 ob 02:18

How much I know is statenship day not national day.
It celebrate statenship day.

Julian, 26.06.2013 ob 00:24


Icon-wise, historiographically,
Slovenes lurch wildly, worryingly elastically.
Four-eyed eagles, red stars,
Crucifix, swastikas;
They're too sketchy to act iconoclastically.

This is ridiculous - Slovenia needs to get behind a single corporate logo unifying its great diversity of political pathologies. And a quick sketch of Triglav is not enough as it could be easily mistaken for baked alaska or a dog poo.

National emblems are only a short drift away from national poetry and I am sure we can agree on a compromise that will suit every countryman alike.

In many ways like an island with many letterbox companies and a jurisdiction which is a law unto itself, Slovenia could take the Isle of Man's famous logo as its starting point -

A few quick alterations, and Slovenes can unite under the banner of a two-faced bird of prey with the slightly drunkenly tilted body of a four-pointed Star of Bethlehem shape, with crooked palms outstretched at each corner: one to receive EU Cohesion Funding, another to accept road tolls from the four points of the compass, a high five basketball hand, and one hand to hold the cigarette - the superlogo in its totality like a big X crossing out a crude caricature of a tiny foreign resident.

You'll need an adapted motto too so let me quickly put on my National Mottologist hat.

Quocumque te superiacta, aliquis stabit in eam.

The National Poet Of Slovenia In A Language People Understand has a big Weltanschauunge.

, 25.06.2013 ob 23:58

Let us hope all Slovenians respect the remarks of MEP Lojze Peterle.

Eddy Massé - Belgium

Confused, 25.06.2013 ob 14:55

Why on earth would you display a red 5 pointed star on Independence day? This is what you fought against to gain your independence. This country will never progress forward when you have people living in the past.

Concerned Bystander, 25.06.2013 ob 11:17

Slovenia is too small to be divided.
If you keep dividing the cake there are only crumbs left...

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