Prime Minister Janez Janša attends Holy Mass in Ljubljana Cathedral marking the end of armed conflicts and the victory in the war for Slovenia
Prime Minister Janez Janša attended the Holy Mass in St. Nicholas' Cathedral in Ljubljana today marking the end of armed conflicts and the victory in the war for Slovenia.
The Mass was held by Apostolic Nuncio Msgr. Jean Marie Speich. After the Mass, President of the Association for the Values of Slovenia's Independence and Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs and the vice-presidents of the association laid a wreath at the memorial in Ljubljana Cathedral to all who had died in the name of an independent Slovenia. The wreath-laying ceremony was followed by a speech by the Prime Minister on the significance of the events of 30 years ago.
In his address, Prime Minister Janša recalled that on 7 July 1991, the Brijuni negotiations took place, where Slovenia was recognised for the first time as an international entity and no longer as part of the former state. A ceasefire was also negotiated. "A week before we declared an independent Slovenia, the whole Europe around us, with few exceptions, and the whole world, supported a united Yugoslavia." He recalled that they had great difficulties in communicating the truth to the world, but that changed in just over two weeks. "The fact that Slovenia was recognised as an international entity allowed us to convince the world that there was no turning back. On 18 July 1991, Belgrade came to the same conclusion. The decision was adopted for the Yugoslav People's Army to withdraw from Slovenia." As the Prime Minister said, with this decision Slovenia made sure that it was only a matter of time before there would be no more foreign troops present on Slovenian territory.
In his address, the Prime Minister recalled that during that time, Slovenians were aware that independence and freedom came at the cost of their lives. "The number of victims in Slovenia was relatively small, which is why we should be all the more grateful to those who gave their lives for their homeland."
To conclude his address, the Prime Minister thanked the Cathedral Parish for the space it had provided for Slovenia to erect a memorial to all who had died in the name of an independent Slovenia, following the example of other European countries.