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Friday, September 29, 2023

[30 YEARS OF INDEPENDENT SLOVENIA] Janez Janša: “I simply said that there is only one dividing line in Slovenia, and that is whether you are for Slovenia or you are not for Slovenia”

By: Alexander Rant

Before the 30th anniversary of the Republic of Slovenia, we spoke with the President of the Slovenian Democratic Party and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša in the show ‘Conversations with Emancipators’ on Nova24TV.

DEMOKRACIJA: Mr. Janša, let us start in the period before independence, in the 1980s, when the Slovenian spring began to awaken. You have said many times that you had different ambitions at the time, not political ones, but from computer science with the company Mikro Ada, you also wrote critical articles for Mladina about how the army should basically be renewed… And yet I wonder how it came about that the JBTZ affair happened. We know that Nova revija was published in 1987, which somehow triggered this spring ferment, but its authors were not arrested by the state at that time. But you were. And the arrest at the end of the 1980s triggered one of the most mass movements for democracy in Slovenia.

Janša: Yes, that is an interesting question. Many in the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights, which was established after our arrest, asked the same question, many wondered if it might be their turn now. Some were on the list, absolutely. This enigma remained unsolved until 1995, when some archives of the Ministry of the Interior were discovered, where a transcription from a meeting in Tacen was found. At a summit there, Milan Kučan and Tomaž Ertl gathered all of the then Slovenian repression, that is the bosses of the Udba departments, Udba regional branches, of the militias at the time, some from Ertl’s college, the Secretariat of the Interior – I think there were about 100 people there – and explained to them what the situation was. Kučan said that these, as he put it, fascistic manners, which are shown in the writers’ tribunes and in the programmes for some new youth organisations, this one I wrote, should be restrained. Ertl, however, said the spikes would be cut. They said that more repression was here in Slovenia than elsewhere in Yugoslavia, even though the comrades did not see it elsewhere. But they were smarter and did it in such a way that propaganda covered it up, however, now they will do it more openly… That meeting was, I think, in April 1988, and Borštner and I were arrested at the end of May. So the action started earlier. At the time, they were then conducting covert investigations at Mikro Ada, the computer company I worked for, looking for excuses for “cutting spikes”. That is how it came about. Of course, when Nova revija was published in early 1987, the Slovene national programme for the future was basically published there, the independent Slovene state in one form or another was in the forefront – democratic, multi-party democracy and the state were clearly written. However, there was no call in the 57th issue of Nova Revija for an organisation to be established which would then execute this. Because of this, it was just a theoretical programme. A step forward from this was the programme we wrote for the elections in the then youth organisation ZSMS. A group of students came to me – at that time I was no longer a member of a youth organisation – led by Sam Resnik. Later, his role was a bit controversial, but they came to me at the time, and because I was somehow a well-known dissident for critical writing, they suggested that I run for president of the then youth organisation. Theoretically, anyone could run because there were no formal conditions; anyone who was a member could automatically become president; I do not know until what year, as some presidents were close to 40 years old. Well, that is when they told me to write a programme. I wrote it, and I wrote in it that to those critics who will declare our programme a struggle for power, we answer that it is a struggle for power. Yes, we are fighting for power because, in our opinion, power is not reserved for just one party, but we understand democracy in such a way that there are more rivals for power, and the one who gets the most support in the elections has power. Of course for a certain time, which must be limited. And yes, we wrote, if we were to win this election, we will fight the Party for power. That, of course, was too much, there were no more weapons on it. It used to be like this: many who wrote for Nova Revija, for example, were accused that they want power, but they defended themselves, no, no, and we are not in it for power, God forbid, we are not for counter-revolution and so on. But we accepted this challenge and we said, yes, we are in it for power. Because finally, look, where there are more parties, where there is democracy in the world, people live well. They are not imprisoned and they can say what they want, there is freedom of speech, and human rights are protected. Yes, we are fighting for such a power. And of course it ended with Udba at the door and arrest and military process and so on. However, the situation in Slovenia and around us was already so mature at that time – it was just before the fall of the Berlin Wall and after the changes in Poland – so these external circumstances were significantly better than if this had happened ten years ago. At that time, probably some would not have come alive from prison. Or they would come as ruins, as had happened with Agop Stepanjan and those who were tried only four years earlier at the Ljubljana trial in the same military court.

DEMOKRACIJA: We know that then this movement began. First, a committee for the protection of the rights for you was established, and then for human rights, the movement outgrew the frameworks that formed around the four, and outgrew, today we could say into an all-Slovenian movement, an uprising. And when the May Declaration was read, this programme was also made public, that is, the programme of independent Slovenia. In 1989, the first unions, the first parties, began to be formed, and at that time you decided to join the Slovene Democratic Union, that is, in the circle that was forming around Nova Revija, around dissidents, writers, and academics. I am basically interested in what drove you to this party that was formed at the time. We know there were more, but you decided on that one. You once said, that you think you were pulled into politics by two Udba members. How did you get into this?

Janša: Yes, Miran Frumen and Drago Isajlović. Had it not been for that arrest, I would probably have pursued a career in computing because we had just started with a very promising company that was growing day by day. This was then the beginning of the “boom” of personal computers and computing in general. And the Slovene Democratic Union was formed – as well as other associations or parties that were formed at that time – mainly because the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights failed to transform itself into a political force, as the Democratic Forum (MDF) did in Hungary. If the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights, which contained all the alternative at the time, were renamed a political force and acted as a single platform in the first elections, then the parties would emerge later. And that platform would certainly get 90 percent in the election because there was such broad support. But the committee was then broken up; as it later turned out on the basis of various documents that came to light, Kučan’s party sent its own people to the committee. There, there were also, I do not know, Rastko Močnik, Slavoj Žižek and so on, for the latter I would hardly say that was sent directly, and for the first certainly. And there were a few more like that. Srečo Kirn and so on. And they then prevented the committee from becoming a political platform. These discussions have taken us about half a year of valuable time. And when it was seen that there would be nothing there, these organisations began to be established. In all honesty, the first organisation that did not openly declare itself as political, but as a professional, professional-political, was the Slovenian Peasants’ Union, which was formed essentially before our arrest, I think it was on May 12th, 1988. I was among the founding members in the Union Hall, it felt like a big change, and probably the founding of this organisation also hastened our arrests because they wanted to show on our cases what would happen to those who would go too far.

DEMOKRACIJA: Well, they failed. Parties were formed, first alliances, then parties, the democratic process began. And then the new parties joined the Demos coalition, which won the first democratic, though not exactly fair, elections. At that time, you were elected an MP and later appointed secretary for people’s defence from the quota of the Slovenian Democratic Union. My question will be a bit more for today: for the last 30 years you have always been confronted with accusations about revanchism and about how you divide people, how your party is extreme. At that time, you invited everyone to participate. Your deputy was, for example, Jelko Kacin, who was not in any of the ruling parties at all, but was an acquaintance from the ZSMS. How was it when you had to start seriously working? Was it time to look at who is who?

Janša: No, it was not the time, everyone was invited to participate. This was an open policy of the Demos, which is why the Demos managed to achieve formal political unity regarding the plebiscite law, which was very aggressive at first. When it came to defence, this broadness was probably key to being able to organise the defence successfully, as military skills or military-organisational skills were very rare in the Demos ranks. And let’s say… I took over the Secretariat of Defence, which employed around 200 people, a few years after I was disciplined in that same body for articles in Youth and thrown on the street because I was an intern. And the people who spoke harshly against me at those clearing meetings were then on the board that I led on the first day after I took office. And they were all afraid of what would happen. I simply said that there is only one dividing line in Slovenia, and that is whether you are for Slovenia or you are not for Slovenia, and those who think they do not support the programme that won the elections of an independent and democratic Slovenia should just go. However, those who are in favour of this programme, no matter what they have done and spoken before or done with me personally, are welcome to work together. And I think that everyone who were working there were members of another party, that is, the Party before, or whatever they were called at the time. I can say that 80 percent of these people then eagerly, openly, and in accordance with their abilities, worked for the defence of Slovenia. About 20 percent of them dropped out, while we simply gave orders to the Yugoslav army officers, who were mainly in the intelligence or security department, and dismissed them. The next day they still wanted to get to work, there was a whole bustle, even in Demos some said yes, that might not have been necessary and so on, but we insisted. So, the next day they came to work, only the security did not let them in and it was over; we set up a new department with Borštner, Žnidaršič, Lovšin, and a few people then obtained key information in this service so that we knew what threatened us in individual moments of prolonged aggression, which actually began with the disarmament of the Territorial Defence.

DEMOKRACIJA: Thus, I would like to continue the broadcast with this point, because only a few very short moments after you effectively took power in the then secretariat, the disarmament of the Territorial Defence began on the orders of the Slovenian generals, which is especially sad, but still: the presidency was informed of this, but did nothing. Disarmament lasted until you were informed about it at the secretariat. How did the information get to you in the first place, what measures did you take at the time, and can we talk about high treason in the event of the disarmament of the Territorial Defence, when there was basically a three-day wait for the order of cancellation?

Janša: The disarmament of the Slovene Territorial Defence was carried out in agreement between another Party government at the time and the remnants of that government in the new structures and the Yugoslav army or Belgrade. Everything was planned, agreed, Udba knew everything, Ertl knew everything, he admitted that he knew everything, even in an interview he boasted that everything that was happening in the YPA, they knew at the same time, which is true. And even if we ignore these, so to speak, regime, old-regime connections, there are documents from which it is clear that the municipal headquarters, the provincial headquarters of Territorial Defence, when they were ordered to surrender their weapons, first tried to achieve intervention and a ban on to the Presidency of the Republic, which had already been established and had been sworn in before the new Assembly a week earlier. They sent faxes, dispatches, called members of the presidency who knew them, informed Kučan, his security adviser Bojan Ušeničnik, I think they even called Stane Dolanc in one of the municipal headquarters of the Territorial Defence of Gorenjska, because he was there in the weekend house in Martuljek, as if to say, tell Kučan, tell Milan what we got. And then he called Kučan, he even wrote at what time. Well, the next day, when the government was sworn in – that was happening on May 15th – and on May 16th, the Republic Assembly was placed, which had the appointment of a new executive council or government on the agenda. That is when we were already informed by members of the United Labour Assembly, they were also mayors or presidents of municipal assemblies, what the commanders of their municipal staffs were telling them. It was full of information about what was going on. At that time, we demanded a meeting of the political leadership, the president of the assembly Bučar convened it, Milan Kučan was also there. We all had some information about what had been happening in an individual municipality, only Milan Kučan said that he knew nothing about it. However, he was the only one who was informed, probably in advance, but certainly the day before directly, because there is material evidence that he never denied. And even then, the presidency sent a report to the disarmament assembly, acknowledging when they had been informed. When a discussion started in some working body, someone found out there that they had not written down the right date, and they sent a new report where they then corrected that date. There are two documents, so… It is true, however, that the events of that time followed each other with such intensity that when one crisis broke out today and we started resolving it, the next day there was already another. And then browsing through the backgrounds of what happened and why, there was simply no more time because we had to swim. And that year from the swearing-in of the Demos government on May 16th, 1990, to June 26th or 25th, 1991, was a year without a break, that is, the dates overlapped, so many things happened every day that it was difficult to follow them, let alone work at the same time for preparation for independence, to vote for independence at all, to prepare for independence and to be able to defend it. At that time there was no incompatibility between a member of the government and the parliament, simultaneously, I was a member of parliament, a minister, a member of the constitutional commission in the National Assembly, where we tried until the last moment to get the constitutional acts through. The opposition was constantly annoying, Ciril Ribičič was fighting for the red star on the flag so much that it seemed like a key problem. They were most opposed to all defence measures, we were adopting a defence budget for months, everything was missed. In short, this was a time when, at least as far as defence efforts were concerned, we had to devote 20 per cent of this to repairing the consequences of disarmament. And if we go back to your question of whether it was high treason: not only was it high treason, as was said by Dr Jože Pučnik or Ivan Oman and many others. This was the largest, most drastic high treason in the history of the Slovene nation, which could have drastic consequences, consequences as were planned. They disarmed us because they knew that if we could not defend ourselves, then we would not become independent; we will be able to declare independence, “operetta independence,” but we will not be able to defend it. And they wanted to prevent that at the very beginning, on the day the new government was sworn in.

DEMOKRACIJA: At that time, 80 percent of the weapons were seized, even more…

Janša: In percentage terms, it was probably more weapons that were collected. However, it should be noted that part of the municipal and provincial headquarters had their warehouses in the barracks of the Yugoslav Army, which we simply just locked up and denied them access. The Territorial Defence had quite a few heavy weapons, especially mine-explosive means, mines, grenades, well everything you need to be able to use heavy weapons. It was not the most modern, but it was better than what we were then able to get. What we were able to keep was then numerically about a few ten percent, and in terms of firepower less than ten percent of what the Territorial Defence had before disarmament. It had armaments for a hundred thousand people.

DEMOKRACIJA: One of the greatest moments of Slovenian independence is certainly the plebiscite on the independence of the Republic of Slovenia. However, after high treason, after disarmament, how did you manage to establish such a force in the field of defence that you could ensure that independence would be defended in Poljče, and in December in Kočevska Reka lined up our boys who were carrying weapons, also something new, and show Slovenians that they do not have to be afraid of aggression?

Janša: Well, look. As far as the disarmament of the Slovenian Territorial Defence is concerned, this is a high treason that has been documented. The collection of the White Book of Slovene Independence contains reports of practically the vast majority of municipal and provincial headquarters of Territorial Defence, where it is written exactly when someone was informed, and then there are documents proving when someone reacted, when someone lied and so on. The White Book came out, I think, seven or eight years ago; none of these documents have been argued or otherwise rejected. That is to say, we are talking about facts. I said earlier that the Territorial Defence before the disarmament had weapons for a hundred thousand men, for more than there were even members. If we had had these weapons all this time, then independence would practically never be in question. Then we were able to replace a very small portion of those weapons. For example, at the line in Kočevska Reka, which you mentioned, we showed new weapons, but these new automatic rifles, which Franci Kosi bought at great risk in Singapore through the Slovenian police, there were thousands of these rifles, that is one percent of what they took from us. And there were a few more armbrusts (hand-held mortar, fn. a), that is, antitank weapons, light antitank weapons, for which we knew were not effective against basic or basic battle tanks, the then M-84 or the Yugoslav model of the Russian T-72. These weapons were too weak for the armoured personnel carriers and for everything else, okay, but you still cannot stop the armoured brigade from Vrhnika with the armbrusts. There were several hundreds of them. And then, just before the war, with a big anguish because we paid for the weapons with a long delay, we received a ship with five thousand automatic rifles, five million pieces of ammunition and about a thousand pieces of light antitank weapons, which basically saved our defence of independence. The ship arrived less than a week before independence. We called in 5,000 young members of the Territorial Defence, who were taken from the reserve of special units, the reserve units of the Yugoslav Army, that is, young boys who had been trained in recent years to use modern weapons. They were mobilised without weapons, and many were about to leave because they saw no point in waiting in some branch schools in Slovenian villages for the government to be able to provide weapons. The weapons came, and it was the biggest load off my shoulders when we saw the containers with automatic rifles when they started coming from the Port of Koper.

DEMOKRACIJA: Well, history will sooner or later tell its own, despite all attempts to cover up this period, to somehow merge with history. And yet I have to ask you anyway. Now we are united, we have the law on defence, the law on military service, all this was lingered in the opposition, the assembly of united labour was constantly against it, Bučar did not want to convene joint sessions where this could be outvoted. You also wrote yourself that the budget for Territorial Defence was terribly low given that we were preparing for the possibility of aggression, there were no uniforms, there was no money for new uniforms, the commanders were some extremely good, extremely skilled, others not. There was a blockade of the opposition in the assembly, a lot of time was spend waiting for money, so to speak, for armaments, for defence, what could be the scenario, the declaration for peace?

Janša: Well, you said earlier that we had the first democratic elections, but these were democratic two-thirds when it came to the composition of parliament; there were three assemblies, each with 80 MPs or delegates, the assembly of united labour was not elected on the basis of universal suffrage, which is one of the basic requirements of, say, the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe or the organisation as it is now called. In the United Labour Assembly, the party had a two-thirds majority, so all these laws fell in that assembly. As well as many others. Then they were only adopted through coordination and adoption in joint sessions with a meagre Demos majority, which required lengthy procedures, it was the old constitution, the old rules of procedure… It was by a whisker, look, it was by a whisker. Now, if in of these laws, some of Demos’ MPs were missing, let’s say they got sick, it just would not go through. The big question is what would happen next. So there was also a little bit of luck and God’s help in those fateful days.

DEMOKRACIJA: And the fateful days, after all attempts of aggression or not attempts from disarmament – not to mention Pekre – to the first victims of the war for Slovenia, Josef Šimčik, the boys in Pekre, when they demanded their extradition, and so on, the abduction of Milošević in the negotiations, which are sacred, you do not do that under the international law. But after all this aggression, which was carried out even before the very beginning of the armed conflict, then escalated into war, and today some claim that there was no war, they scoff, oh, ten days, seven days, such a war. How do you respond to those who today speak so commonly or diminishingly of those days as if we had taken it lightly?

Janša: If we had taken it even more lightly, I would have been even happier, the victory would have been even more glorious; the fewer casualties you win the war with, the more glorious that victory is. With fewer casualties on both sides, not just on your own. For the more dead there are also on the enemy’s side, the deeper the wounds, after things have to be arranged for the time after the war. And if I am proud of anything, it is that our goal was not the physical destruction of the enemy, which was the doctrine of the Yugoslav army. In all textbooks at the academies and other schools of the Yugoslav Army, it was written that the basic goal of armed struggle was the physical destruction of the enemy, that is, killing. And this doctrine was then, for example, drastically expressed through the commanding general in Srebrenica, who was now sentenced to life imprisonment. Ratko Mladić implemented this doctrine, he did not implement the doctrine of some imaginary Serbian nationalism, he implemented the doctrine of the Yugoslav People’s Army, where it was written in the first sentence of this doctrine: the basic goal of armed struggle is the liquidation of the enemy, physical destruction of the enemy. That is something their role models did during World War II and also immediately after it. We knew this doctrine and set it up differently. And when we started military training of recruits on Ig and in Pekre, if you read my speeches then, as well as when we spoke to officers and so on, we told them: the doctrine of our armed struggle and defence is not physical destruction of the enemy, it is disabling the enemy. And we only shoot after using all the other options first. And so we prepared to block the columns, we took electricity, water, logistics from the barracks, we called on them to surrender. And that is why there were few casualties, because we had a different approach. And we had five thousand prisoners of the Yugoslav army, or those who crossed or were captured in that way, and there were few dead on their side, only where it was necessary. So Slovenia also won because it chose a different doctrine. Doctrine, the concept by which you do something, is key, everything else follows. We also saw later, after we got out of this volcanic or Yugoslav boiler with a relatively low price, what was happening in other parts of the former Yugoslavia, where in some places both sides used the same doctrine – to kill the enemy. These wounds are still unhealed today.

DEMOKRACIJA: 30 years later, when you think back to those events, I would like to ask you something else. A different doctrine ruled on our side than that of the Yugoslav People’s Army. But few people today know that the success back then was actually your success, our success, so strong that the Yugoslav People’s Army lost, they are not, as they say today, oh, but if they wanted to, they could have defeated us. After two days, they have already changed the general who commanded, that is, when do you replace the general? When this general is losing, probably not when he is triumphantly winning the war.

Janša: Look, they wanted to, but they failed. And then they tried to fix it, they replaced Konrad Kolšek with Života Avramović, they sent new units, an armoured guard division from Belgrade, which did not even get to Slovenia because the tanks broke down and because we gave Croatia antitank mines with which they stopped the tanks in Slavonija, so that they were not needed to be stopped in Slovenia. This is where the credit goes to Minister Martin Špegelj. We helped Croatia, but they also helped us, it must be said, otherwise in the second phase, not at the beginning despite the agreement, but if we look at the whole picture, we just have to see both. As for the successes, the collection Vojna za Slovenijo contains some well-argued documented figures from the combat reports of the provincial headquarters of the Territorial Defence, which were written at the time, some are even handwritten in position, with no one hiding anything and embellishing and doing statistics and so on, he wrote what was going on that day. And if we add these things up, we see that only, I think, only 21 people of the reconnaissance platoon of the Krkovič Brigade confiscated several weapons and other lethal weapons in the Strmec pri Borovnici warehouse – in one place, without a single victim, only one was wounded on the opposite side – as in all conflicts in World War II., all partisan detachments on the territory of Slovenia, all partisan units, if we exclude that devastation after capitulation, but only take into account the time of the formal war. In one operation, 21 people from the Slovene Territorial Defence confiscated more weapons from the aggressor than all partisan units in the four years of the so-called national liberation struggle. I do not underestimate anything, there, where it was actually a revolt against the aggressor, I respect anyone who decided to do so out of this inclination. And even if we look at the victims of, say, the German or Italian occupiers during the war, not after the capitulation, when they were shot like rabbits, we see that the Slovenian Territorial Defence eliminated, that is, captured or persuaded them to cross on our side, nearly five thousand adversaries. That is, more than the losses of the German and Italian units in all time of the World War II. in battles with partisan units. So it is not just about the duration of the war, it is about ultimate success and, look, the fewer the casualties, the shorter the war, the less suffering, the greater the victory.

DEMOKRACIJA: Well, now for the end let’s return to the present and the key issue that divides us Slovenes. Well I will not say divides us, I will say that some in this country want to divide us, because for 30 years they have been forcing a value center that led from dictatorship to dictatorship, which left the most victims among Slovenes not only during the war, but also after it. And then here stands Slovene independence, the path to democracy, to independence, to self-determination. Why is this independence a sacred time and it should be, and if it still not, at least become the value center of the Slovenian nation after 30 years? Are you an optimist, do you think this will still happen?

Janša: No, I think that the time of independence is the central point, the central value point, the value center of the Slovenian nation since it happened, no less today; this is a time that does not divide the nation, it divides politics as it was shared then by those for whom an independent Slovenia was not an intimate option not then and probably not today. Maybe someone overlooked it, but the main actors certainly did not, because that is how they behave. Some still say today that they were against secession then and are still today; if we had not seceded then, we would probably still be in Yugoslavia or we would not be because it would fall apart for other reasons, we would just pay a higher price probably or not, we do not know what would have been happening. Then there is… why, why do I dare to assure so 100% that this is the center of values – because I have empirical evidence for this, this is the result of the vote in the plebiscite. This result of the voting showed that many people who are not Slovenes by blood, but felt part of a community that is embarking on a new path, probably voted for an independent Slovenia, which makes this center of values even stronger. And today, in my opinion, it is very easy to build national unity on all those who are well-meaning. For those who are not, who talk about what it was like in Yugoslavia, where you waited in line for a car for six years, for a bad car from Crvena Zastava, how it was better then, those who think it is really like that, they can still find a few pieces of the planet where this is still happening, they can go to Cuba, North Korea or Venezuela and enjoy the benefits of socialism there, as we enjoyed them here. It is true, however, that some who talk today about how good it was then do not lie because it was really good for them. They could go on holiday to Brijuni for free, they had special medical care at the Peter Držaj Hospital, the lists were published in the documents of the Study Center for National Reconciliation, they could hunt in special hunting grounds in Kočevski Rog or Prekmurje or in the Kozorog hunting ground in Kamniška Bistrica, they got fresh meat, vegetables and eggs from Mačko’s economy in Gotenica, I think he brought a van with supplies twice a week and exhibited it in Murgel houses and flats, on Valvasor’s street and so on. They really had it fine. But that was a few percent of the people, and hundreds of thousands of people worked for them in Litostroj, on farms, in many Slovenian factories, where people worked for 20 percent of the salary they would get in Austria, in the afternoon they had to work hard on a piece of land to survive at all, agricultural crops were bought from them below cost; I remember how my mother cried when she got money for milk, I do not know, for 100 litters of milk she got so much money that you could buy five litters in the store. Thus it was about the exploitation of people in the history of socialism in Slovenia, wasted future of generations, many sought happiness abroad, because in the homeland there was either no bread or no freedom. Thus, those young people who were born after independence in a time of freedom and prosperity have a hard time understanding what happened before, and are, as we can see, easy victims of propaganda, how we were all the same, how good it was for everyone, everyone got work and cheap loans and so on. I have to say that when Yugoslavia fell apart, I was well over 30 years old, and until then I could not get any credit unless you tied up foreign exchange and then got a few more dinars due to inflation. Thus, the value center of the Slovene nation is a time that does not divide the nation, it is a time that unites a nation through physical or blood labels. It is a question of civilisation, it is a time that every good and smart and well-meaning policy puts at the forefront. However, those who focus on the time that broke the Slovenes, caused huge wounds that we still heal, and those who certainly do not wish us all a good future, it is mainly about defending privileges, stolen houses, paintings, works of art, positions, the fruits of nepotism, if we look at which generations we all have in positions in the judiciary, the prosecution, and so on. But this is just a minority. I think we need to persevere on this path, to defend what is a fact; we may have different views on historical events, in a democracy everything is allowed and desirable and so on, but there is a historical truth, that is, whether something happened or did not happen. If something did not happen, and someone claims it did, it is not a different view of the fact, but it is a lie. And at this point, there is a line and you just have to fight for the truth, and the fight for democracy is basically a fight for the truth.


Janez Janša was a political dissident in the previous totalitarian communist system. At that time, Slovenia was still part of the socialist multinational Yugoslavia. In the first democratic Slovenian government, which consisted of the Demos coalition, he became Minister of Defence. Together with Igor Bavčar, he successfully led the Slovenian Armed Forces during the aggression of the Yugoslav Federal Army against Slovenia in 1991. In 1993 he became the president of the Slovene Democratic Party and with it won the elections in 2004 and was the Prime Minister of the Slovene government in the period 2004-2008. In the first half of 2008, when Slovenia held the Presidency of the European Union, he chaired the EU Council and the European Council. In 2012, he became Prime Minister for the second time. In the last parliamentary elections in 2018, he won with his SDS with a big advantage. Since March 2020, he has been the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia for the third time. Janez Janša is the author of numerous books and articles. He will chair the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year.


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