By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
“The fact that the Slovenian Crafts Party was not a member of Demos was due to Spomenka Hribar, who strongly opposed it to the last,” Vitomir Gros recalled. Why? Mainly so that the Demos would not win. According to Gros, Demos would not be able to win without the Crafts Party. The fact that they were expelled from Demos was ordered by the Communist Party of Slovenia, but they did not count on forming a coalition with Demos. “They wanted to deceive us, but we thoroughly deceived them,” in the show Pogovori z osamosvojitelji Gros reminisced, and recalled also on how some, who are now considered independence fighters, fought to the last against Slovenian independence and the interruption of the communist mentality. It was not until they were cornered that they somehow gave up.
Towards the end of the 1980s, Vitomir Gros became the president of the craft association in Kranj. “At that time, we managed to achieve in the Constitutional Court that the unification of the Chamber – both craft and any other – is a matter of voluntariness, not coercion, as was the case in Yugoslavia until then,” he told of his achievements from the times before the independence of Slovenia. It is interesting that they then had a higher profit from membership fees than before, in the forced association of craft associations of Slovenia. Gros also pointed out that Yugoslavia’s problem was that it had collapsed economically, while putting pressure on those who were still the only ones able to pay taxes and contributions – and these were mostly just farmers and craftsmen. For this reason, a lot of laying off began, they were forced to do so, and eventually this buried Yugoslavia. Large-scale industry no longer paid contributions, nor did they pay bills for electricity, utilities, and so on. When Gros became mayor of Kranj, he found that most large companies did not pay anything to the community. “And of course there was a big revolt when we started arranging it, because they were just used to paying nothing,” he explained. This, too, was one of the reasons for the initiative to set up a craft party. Craftsmen and small entrepreneurs have found that they will not be able to achieve anything without political power. In December 1998, the Slovenian Crafts Party was founded in Kranj, which was the first party to register as a party after the war. Communism thus emerged, it could no longer control the situation financially – this was, in Gros’s opinion, the essence of the disintegration of Yugoslav communism.
Gros comes from a relatively important economic family. When his grandparents married, their property became a large family agglomeration, which, of course, was nationalised to the end after World War II. This is how the authorities treated them, the children, they considered them capitalists and harmful people to the regime. “I think this is a Slovenian national and state disgrace that we, as the only nation in the world, are still celebrating the Communist and Nazi pact 76 years after the war, which was later joined by fascists and Japanese nationalists. This pact lasted until the middle of the war, so for two years the communists made a pact with the Nazis and fascists. And that we are still celebrating it is inconceivable,” Gros answered the question of the host of the show, Aleksandar Rant, what he thinks about the fact that April 27th is still celebrated in our country. Apparently, the Slovenian nation is still so mentally damaged by a Stockholm syndrome that it still sympathises with its oppressors – the communists who made a pact with the Nazis. However, Gros is convinced that the Slovenian nation is now so mature that it will no longer tolerate some threats of nationalisation, as has often been heard recently by the Levica Party. However, it is to be feared that the violence of the leftists would lead to some serious excesses, ultimately even to a civil war. “I hope that this will not happen, mainly because I am a supporter of reconciliation among Slovenes, but on the basis of truth and knowledge and, of course, confession and then forgiveness of sins,” said Gros.
We are in some strange transitional state that guards all the gains of those who stole
What drove Gros’ party to Demos was of interest to the host of the show. Craftsmen and farmers are by nature a kind of freelancers, Gros explained. They are free to create as much as society allows them to, and they have found that the previous communist society did not allow them, but took everything from their ancestors, and threatened them. Because of these pressures, they went into politics: “We went into politics, realising that only a free society, a democratic society, allows everyone to develop.” Gros further pointed out that the Demos was not a united coalition, but that the Demos coalition with the Crafts Party won. Gros also recalled the infamous law passed by the communists on the protection of personal data. They did this in order to hide all their indecent acts they had done in the past. Their party objected to this, proposing that the Demos repeal the law following an assembly procedure, but Demos did not get enough support for this. Everyone saw the law as a democratic achievement, albeit tailored to the previous communist regime. “That is why today in Slovenia, as the only country in the world, the land register is hidden,” he pointed out, adding that we are in a strange state of transition, which preserves all the gains of those who stole.
Under the law of war, it is quite clear that Kučan is a war criminal and a national traitor. When they found out that they had won the elections, the leadership of the Craft Party found out at a meeting during the May holidays in 1990 that Slovenia should declare its independence on May 15th. At that time, the term of office of federal MPs or delegates expired. They prepared a declaration on the sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia, proposed to Demos that they convene a session of the Assembly on the evening of May 14th, adopt this declaration five minutes before midnight so as not to elect new MPs to the Federal Assembly, and on May 15th Slovenia be a de facto independent state. According to Gros, their proposal was hidden in a drawer by Dr France Bučar, and the proposal was supported only by Ivan Oman. In order to put the declaration into procedure, they used some detours, past Bučar. As a party, the declaration was submitted to the government, the government accepted it and sent it back to parliament – again to Bučar – who was making a mistake again. On July 2nd, it was the meeting of the Demos club, and so at that meeting they proposed that Demos unanimously support and accept the declaration. At this club of MPs, President Bučar strongly opposed and even stated that this would only happen without him and then left the meeting. Then the Liberal Party, part of the Social Democratic Party, Pučnik’s party, part of the People’s Party and part of the Zeleni party managed to convince the others that this declaration would be supported – and in an hour everything was in the parliament or assembly. When Bučar found out that it was real, he wrote a speech. “I described this episode so that viewers would understand all the perfidy of that happening. To the last they resisted the independent Slovenia, to the last they resisted the interruptions of the communist mentality in our country. It was only when they were cornered they somehow gave up,” said Vitomir Gros, explaining that they also had to corner Milan Kučan during the evening talks on the plebiscite and independence. He also had to be forced to issue a document that he had to stop disarming the Territorial Defence, as he was the supreme commander of the Slovenian army at the time. “And in fact, from this point of view and under the law of war, it is perfectly clear that he is a war criminal and a national traitor. Unfortunately, our official history does not want to admit this, our law enforcement agencies do not want to investigate it, even though they should,” he added.