“If it were not for the Slovenian Army, we would not be celebrating Statehood day either. Many events led to Slovenian independence, but the key decision, made on June 25th, 1991, would have remained only a decision on paper, if the Slovenian Army, or the Territorial Defence, and partly the police as well, so the armed forces of the nation, would not have defended the decision,” the Prime Minister pointed out and added that from the history books, we know of many different declarations of independence from all around the world, which ended up only being part of the history books, and did not result in actual independent countries, as there was no last, key action. At the same time, he announced that better times were coming for the Army, as their working conditions will improve with the new law.
On Wednesday, the day before Statehood Day, Prime Minister Janez Janša addressed the members of the Slovenian Armed Forces working on missions, via an audio-video conference form the Ministry of Defence. In addition to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence Matej Tonin, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Slovenian Army Robert Glavaš, also attended the audio-video conference.
Without the Slovenian Army, we would not be celebrating Statehood Day
In his address, Prime Minister Janez Janša initially pointed out that if it were not for the Slovenian Army, we would not be celebrating statehood day. “Many events led to Slovenian independence, but the key decision, made on June 25th, 1991, would have remained only a decision on paper, if the Slovenian Army, or the Territorial Defence, and partly the police as well, so the armed forces of the nation, would not have defended the decision,” the Prime Minister stressed, adding that from the history books, we know of many different declarations of independence from all around the world, which ended up only being part of the history books, and did not result in actual independent countries, as there was no last, key action
Prime Minister Janša congratulated all the members who are on missions, and also thanked them for the fact that during the time of a “double challenge” – in addition to the danger that the members are facing everywhere where they operate, they also had to deal with the coronavirus epidemic – they were very successful. “This challenge was at the same level of danger in certain places, as this was something unknown, and because it was something we were not prepared for,” the Prime Minister said, and also expressed satisfaction with the fact that Slovenian soldiers are healthy and that the Army successfully dealt with a few infections, and “that you have successfully helped others as well because I have heard a lot of praise for you in relation to this,” the Prime Minister said.
Better times for the Army are coming
Prime Minister Janez Janša also said that, unfortunately, Slovenia does not rank high in the North Atlantic Alliance, as it had failed to fulfil its commitments for several years. “However, as far as cooperation within the Alliance is concerned, and also within the framework of the European Union’s defence activities and the United Nations’ peacekeeping missions, you, the soldiers on these operations and missions, represent a light in the dark. I have never heard as much praise as in recent months, coming from my colleagues, the Prime Ministers or the Presidents of other EU states, as well as NATO, regarding the functioning of the Slovenian Armed Forces. The Slovenian Army has been bettering the reputation of our country ever since it started participating in peacekeeping missions. And we really appreciate your work,” the Prime Minister said.
Regarding the shortcomings that NATO allies have been pointing out for years, the Prime Minister announced that the government would discuss the Defence Act on Wednesday already, which would abolish the limitation of working in the Slovenian Army, which is set at 45 years. “Hopefully, the legislation will be adopted in the National Assembly as soon as possible, and so the legal provision will no longer limit people who are still at their full capacity, with the most knowledge, in continuing their careers in the Slovenian Army,” the Prime Minister said. And what is even more important, according to the Prime Minister, is the law on providing funds for investments in the Slovenian Army, which the government had also discussed at Wednesday’s session. The implementation of this law will help eliminate many technical problems that the soldiers are faced with on their missions.
“As for the general conditions, we know that a lot can be done if there is a will, if there is motivation, readiness, even if we work in conditions that are not ideal, regarding the financial and technological point of view. However, it is almost necessary for the staffing conditions to be ensured, so the staffing of the Slovenian Armed Forces will be the biggest challenge in the future,” the Prime Minister Janez Janša said in his address.
At the end of the audio-video conference, Prime Minister Janez Janša sincerely congratulated the members of the Slovenian Armed Forces on missions, on the occasion of Statehood Day, which would not have been possible without the Slovenian Army, and at the same time, he wished them a proud celebration of the national holiday.