Prime Minister Janez Janša hosted a reception for relatives of the members of the Slovenian Territorial Defence, of the Ministry of the Interior and of civilian war victims killed or injured in the Slovenian War of Slovenia. The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by his wife Urška Bačovnik Janša, delivered a speech. The reception was also attended by the Slovenian President, Borut Pahor.
“In the 30 years since Slovenia’s independence and the war for Slovenia, we have met many times, but not all of these gatherings have been the same. Although we met over several different years to commemorate the events and their victims, we are still marked the most by the present. This year we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the birth of our independent state and the 30th anniversary of the successful defence of our country,” said the Prime Minister at the beginning. “Both Slovenian independence and the war for Slovenia with its successful defence are something that belongs to the very core of the values of Slovenians, the Slovenian nation and the whole Slovenian civil community,” emphasised the Prime Minister. He went on to say: “Never before and hopefully never again will it be necessary for us to learn to stand on our feet in this way and to hold our ground with weapons.
Often when we recall these events, we hear that the war of independence was not a real war, or that it was short, that it was a theatrical operation. But as far as this is concerned – for those who are victorious, who defend themselves, who defend something that is most sacred – the shorter the war, the better and the more successful they are. The success of a war is measured by how few casualties and how little suffering is endured,” said the Prime Minister.
“Judging by these general and objective criteria, Slovenia was successful. On the other hand, there is another side to this story, your side. For someone who lost their father, for someone who was severely wounded, for someone whose life changed completely, for someone who was so severely wounded that they became fully disabled, like Ivan Starina, whom we commemorated in the summer at Kum, this was the ultimate sacrifice and a decent nation never forgets that,” stressed the Prime Minister. He said he was happy that in the year we celebrated our 30th anniversary we finally managed to draw up legislation “that regulates the status of you and those who are were the same position but are not among us today. It took 30 years and, on Slovenia’s 30th anniversary, we are able to achieve enough unity to have this legislation passed.”
“We wanted this legislation to be ready by Statehood Day, but there was a delay in the procedures. However, in spite of this, the legislation is now in place. Just as I was on my way here, the Minister of Defence informed me that everything would be ready by January for the direct issuance of the decisions and that those decisions would be implemented as soon as possible in the coming year,” said the Prime Minister. He apologised for the delay by saying not everything was in the hands of the Government.
“All of us who have been part of the executive or legislative branch of power in the last 30 years owe you an apology that, despite several attempts to get it right, it still took 30 years. But with this act, Slovenians have joined the ranks of civilised nations who have never forgotten their greatest sacrifices so that the nation can live in its own independent country.”
“Our Government has not forgotten this, even in these times when there are so many troubles and responsibilities to be dealt with. This year there have been many events dedicated to the country’s 30th anniversary, and believe me many of those we lost in the war for Slovenia have been in our thoughts, memories and prayers,” added the Prime Minister.
“Today we also remember in a special way the most pivotal vote, the most important decision in the history of Slovenians, the plebiscite for an independent Slovenia. It was the only empirically verifiable time in which we wrote our own judgment, which was magnificent. We wrote it bravely, unitedly, and we were able to not only implement but also defend this judgment later on,” concluded Prime Minister Janez Janša, congratulating the relatives of the fallen on the occasion of the upcoming Independence and Unity Day and wishing them all a healthy and courageous year 2022.
Jasmina Molan, daughter of a fallen member of the Territorial Defence, also said a few words. She pointed out that although this year was marked by the epidemic, it was also the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s independence. “Independence was won, unfortunately at the cost of the lives and casualties of those who stood up firmly to the enemy forces,” added Molan. She went on to say that this year had been extremely important for the families of the fallen. “With the help of the Prime Minister and the relevant ministers, as well as with the support of many deputies, important amendments to legislation were adopted, which we, the relatives of the fallen, have been calling for many years,” said Molan. She stressed that, finally, after 30 years the children, wives and parents of the fallen would also be entitled to compensation. “The amendments to the legislation make it possible to regulate the status of disabled persons,” said Molan, who expressed her personal gratitude for the amendments, which make it possible to live with pride and dignity, and to recognise that the difficulties of the war of independence had not been forgotten and continued to live on in the hearts and minds of Slovenians.
“Despite the measures and restrictions, it has been a successful year for Slovenia, which is concluding its Presidency of the Council of the EU, and for our athletes, who put our country alongside other major countries by winning medals and awards, filling us with pride,” added Molan and concluded by hoping for the unity of the Slovenian nation.
The quintet of the Slovenian Armed Forces Band performed at today’s reception. The quintet has been an indispensable part of the Slovenian Armed Forces Band since its founding in 1996. It is composed mostly of musicians with an academic background, who are also trained members of the Slovenian Armed Forces.