Prime Minister Janez Janša at events commemorating Statehood Day
Today Prime Minister Janez Janša attended a number of events to commemorate tomorrow’s Statehood Day.
He initially attended the first formal session of the National Council at which Alojz Kovšca, President of the National Council, highlighted in his address that Slovenians breathed as one at the time we achieved independence. "We should not be embarrassed to nurture love for our homeland," appealed the President of the National Council. He also stressed that we live freely and proudly in our own country; the independent and sovereign state of Slovenia, a nation which protects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens. "We live in a country that cares for the safety of its citizens, greater welfare and sustainable development," he added, emphasising that we must preserve the heritage of unity.
Prime Minister Janša then attended the reception hosted by Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia, for the relatives of fallen members of the Territorial Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, and civilian victims and the wounded in the War for Slovenia. Following a minute’s silence for all the deceased, the President highlighted that we have to be proud of, and pleased with, the progress made on our independent path, although we might have sometimes gone astray somewhat over the years. "Our journey is a steep climb towards success," emphasised President Pahor and added that our descendants will inherit a great legacy.
After the reception, Prime Minister Janša and his wife, Urška Bačovnik Janša, attended a holy mass for the homeland that took place at the St Nicholas Cathedral in Ljubljana. The mass was held by Msgr. Stanislav Zore OFM, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Ljubljana and the President of the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference. In addition to the Military Vicariate of the Slovenian Armed Forces and the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, the representatives of the Protocol Unit and the Brass Quintet of the Slovenian Armed Forces Orchestra also participated at the service.
In the evening, Prime Minister Janša attended a formal session of the National Assembly where the keynote speaker was its President, Igor Zorčič. In his address, the President of the National Assembly emphasised that the nation’s unity and commitment to the joint objective was displayed at the plebiscite almost 30 years ago. "Determination, risk recognition, maturity and the ability to correctly interpret the message of time led us to a unique historic opportunity that we embraced wholeheartedly," said President Zorčič. He further highlighted that courage was needed to gain independence and the awareness that we are capable of accomplishing remarkable feats when we show mutual consideration and trust. "Statehood is a privilege for a nation, but it is also an obligation. We, as citizens, do not only have an obligation towards the state, but also to one another," said President Zorčič and concluded, "Tolerance and dialogue for the bright future of our children."
After the formal session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Janša and his wife, Urška Bačovnik Janša, attended the central national celebration at Congress Square in Ljubljana where Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia, was the keynote speaker. President Pahor initially stated that we are not sufficiently aware of the power of democracy to overcome our differences for the common good. As President, he missed such democratic enthusiasm, he stressed. "No problem is so great that we could not resolve it together," he added and continued, "I call for dialogue and cooperation, but even that is clearly insufficient." In his address, the President also called on a sense of unity and the willingness to make the effort to listen to one another. "Every time it seems that differences prevail in a mature democratic society, we have to ensure that what we have in common prevails. Now is such a time and now we must all make an effort," he said. President Pahor also highlighted that there is enough room for everyone in our beautiful homeland, "if we respect and encourage each other – and there will never be enough room if we push each other out or even exclude."