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16. 2. 1991: Ciril Ribičič on the red star and reservations about the dissolution of Yugoslavia

The main topics at the consultation session of the delegate club of the Party of Democratic Reform were the resolution on dissolution and a new Slovenian flag without the red star. Former owners of the property expropriated after the Second World War were concerned about the restriction of ownership rights.
Ciril Ribičič sits in the assembly.

Ciril Ribičič expressed serious concerns about the draft text of the resolution on dissolution. | Author Tone Stojko, hrani: Muzej novejše zgodovine Slovenije

The delegate club of the Party of Democratic Reform (the former League of Communists) convened a consultation session of the leaders of all deputy groups of the party by municipalities on 16 February in Ljubljana. Among other things, they discussed the draft text of the resolution on consensual dissolution of Yugoslavia. The party’s president Ciril Ribičič played a dominant role and, according to the Delo newspaper, expressed serious concerns about the draft text of the resolution on dissolution.

The Party of Democratic Reform against the secession from Yugoslavia

"Although it speaks about a breakup, this resolution actually offers a secession. Theres a significant difference between these two terms, as a secession seriously hinders the acquisition of international recognition and also costs a lot of money," said Ribičič.

The President of the Party of Democratic Reform believed that the positive flow of changes underway in Yugoslavia should not be interrupted. Why use force and make a mistake, he said, when the other, centralist side was becoming more and more nervous. He objected to the resolution being sent to the Federal Assembly as republics were the only negotiating partners.

On the red star, communists and the home guard

Regarding the controversies concerning the new Slovenian flag, Ribičič said that the proposed solution to remove the red star from the flag was the worst. If the red star is to be regarded as the symbol of communism, then it must be said that the home guard fought with a starless flag on their helmets, he explained, adding that the Party of Democratic Reform suggested that the flag should feature Mt Triglav and the sea.

A new Slovenian party

A new party was established on 16 February in Teharje and named the Workers' Party of Slovenia. Its programme, which included fighting for a social, modern and efficient state, employees' participation rights, plurality of properties, etc., was presented to the public by Miloš Pavlica.

Two years later, this party merged into the United List of Social Democrats (present-day Social Democrats) together with the Party of Democratic Reform and the Social Democratic Union.

Pučniks young democrats

The conference of the Slovenian Democratic Youth, the youth section of the Social Democratic Alliance of Slovenia presided over by Jože Pučnik, also organised a session this Saturday. The President of the Slovenian Democratic Youth was Matej Makarovič.

At the session that took place in Ljubljana, it was decided that the party would apply for membership in the International Union of Socialist Youth. They also supported the efforts of the Roza Klub to ensure that discrimination against sexual orientation would be prohibited in the new Slovenian Constitution.

On returning property to the Church

A press conference of the Association of Former Owners of Expropriated Property was organised in Ljubljana on 16 February, at which its President, Franc Izgoršek, presented observations relating to the draft act on denationalisation.

The members advocated that the property nationalised after the Second World War be primarily returned in kind. They opposed the restriction of ownership rights and the division into farmers and non-farmers.

"45 years of protecting idleness"

According to the Delo newspaper, farmer Ivan Pučnik, brother of Jože Pučnik and a prominent member of the Slovenian Farmers' Association, said, "The Church should receive back its property like everyone else." No one, not even the bishop, can fell trees by himself, explained the expropriated owners at the press conference, highlighting that jobs were under no threat due to denationalisation. "But what is under threat is the fact that weve been protecting idleness for 45 years," said the expropriated owners.

Author: Aleš Žužek