Prime Minister Janez Janša at the ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the battle of Trzin with the unveiling of a memorial to Edvard Peperko
Prime Minister Janez Janša today attended a ceremony at the bridge over the Pšata River in Trzin to mark the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Slovenia and the 30th anniversary of the battle of Trzin with the unveiling of a memorial to Edvard Peperko, who died in the Slovenian war of independence. The memorial was unveiled by President of the Republic Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Janez Janša and blessed by Auxiliary Bishop of Ljubljana Msgr Dr Franc Šuštar. The battle of Trzin was the first battle in which Slovenia won, and therefore all the more important for Slovenia’s ultimate triumph.
The Prime Minister was the main speaker at the event and spoke about the time of gaining independence. He pointed out that on this day 30 years ago, 75 armed conflicts took place simultaneously in different parts of Slovenia, and that many of these conflicts were not even known at the time. "Some events from that day 30 years ago stand out, not all of them were equally important." Among the most important are the events in Ormož and Trzin. As the Prime Minister pointed out, Slovenia succeeded then because it made the right choices, for the most part, even during its war for independence. "We fought where necessary, we negotiated where necessary, we took a step back where necessary, as in the case of the Brioni Agreement." In Trzin, the indisputable fact came to the fore that the war for Slovenia was defended by Slovenian defence forces, consisting of the Slovenian Territorial Defence and the Slovenian police. "Without this unity, which was forged during the manoeuvre structure of the national defence forces, we would have been too weak."
"Slovenia didn't win then because everything was run from the centre. It was the initiative of individual commanders of Territorial Defence tactical units, police special units, Territorial Defence special units and the police that won, while the decisions were taken by the commanders of these units, most of whom were not professionals. These right decisions made at a municipal level forged the path to victory in the war for Slovenia." The Prime Minister noted that one of the important victories was achieved in Trzin, thanks to which we can celebrate the 30th birthday of the Slovenian state today. According to Janša, the answer to the question of how we won is that we won by being smart. The physical destruction of the enemy was the armed conflict doctrine of the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA). "Our doctrine was different, to use weapons only as a last resort." The Prime Minister added: "30 years ago, we wished well for ourselves, but at the same time we did not wish ill for anyone else. This good intention was ultimately reflected in the victory of the war for Slovenia."
On this day 30 years ago, the Slovenian flag with the national coat of arms was raised at Trg republike, but nobody knew these symbols at the time, the Prime Minister said, adding that it was Slovenians around the globe that made the Slovenian colours recognisable. As a result of their efforts, the image of Slovenia had changed considerably. "After 30 years, Slovenia is recognisable, it has its place in the world and we should be more aware of this, more appreciative of it. We have our own country, an environment that is favourable for development. All four of its neighbours are friendly countries, and we have good, friendly relations with them. Thirty years ago we celebrated alone, 30 years later we are celebrating together with our neighbours and the President of the European Council."
In his address, the Prime Minister pointed out that the colours of the Slovenian flag are as different as we are from one another. "Nevertheless, these are our common colours, our national flag, under which all Slovenians are aware – regardless of any differences – that there is enough space for everyone and that it bears the national coat of arms, symbolising that there is enough space under this flag for all citizens. These are symbols that united Slovenians 30 years ago and can unite us today as well as in the decades and centuries to come."
At the end of his address, he stressed that local self-government had given wings to development. "Congratulations on being one of the most successful municipalities in Slovenia, facing development challenges by moving forward."
On the occasion of Slovenia’s 30th birthday, the Prime Minister congratulated everyone present and stressed that we must draw on the period of Slovenian independence. It is important to be able to look ahead to the next 30 years. Today we are in a position to be able to help others. We need to celebrate with the knowledge that it was not in vain. God bless Slovenia.