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State celebration of the independence and unity day - the nation’s message at the plebiscite

“When we remember our unity 30 years ago, we rejoice at the rebirth and countless opportunities brought forward every year,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša in his ceremonial address at the state celebration of the independence and unity day. This year’s ceremony was organised in the form of a television show, due to the epidemiological situation. The speaker was the prime minister and the ceremony also included a remarkable historical collage.

Janez Janša

Prime minister Janez Janša | Author Daniel Novakovič/STA

A state ceremony was held exactly 30 years after the plebiscite, where Slovenians decided on the secession from Yugoslavia and on the independent country of Slovenia. The creators of the ceremony have highlighted that the nation wrote its own history 30 years ago. We made a decision, we defended ourselves and survived. “And that judgement was glorious, it echoed all over the world and in the heart and soul of each Slovenian,” said the prime minister. “We rose up, we remained standing despite everything, and half a year later, with our resistance against the aggression of the JNA and our fight and victory in the war for Slovenia, we survived.”

Prime Minister Janez Janša also said that never in our history was there a time when we, as a nation, were as unified as during the plebiscite. The decision was made from the personal, intimate, internal opinion of each individual. “We have our paradise below Triglav and ourselves. The wealth of our nation is its people. We will never be the biggest, but we can be the best. Just like many of our entrepreneurs, sportsmen, artists, and scientists. We can be the best as a community and country,” said the prime minister.

The ceremony took viewers through the historical moments of Slovenian independence on the 30th anniversary of the plebiscite. The very idea gave answers to the main historical question: Why did Slovenians in 1990 decide for a plebiscite on an independent nation and vote YES? Our documentary took us back to the moment of those very extraordinary times for Slovenians. Through the 30 years of various contributions in the form of a collage, all telling the history of those times.

During the cultural and artistic part of the ceremony, Ana Dežman, Gašper Rifelj, Ditka, Monika and Gregor Avsenik, and Gianni Rijavec and Zidaniški kvintet, all sang for the homeland.

The National Assembly met before the ceremony, where the main speaker was the Vice-President of the National Assembly, Tina Heferle. On the independence and unity day, the archbishop of Ljubljana, Stanislav Zore, gave a sermon for the homeland at the Ljubljana church of St. Nicholas.