By: Tanja Brkić (Nova24tv.si)
In a public message, the Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence (VSO) responded to the claims of programme advisor Sašo Hribar, who denied the Slovenian War of Independence. As they wrote in the message, they are “horrified by what was said” and believe that it was “unacceptable rhetoric”, regardless of whether it was satire or not, because, as they explained, Hribar can freely express his views today precisely because of the democratic system that was won by the war of independence. VSO demands a public apology and action from RTV Slovenia.
“It is an inadmissible abuse of the public radio medium, which in itself is a reason for action,” VSO wrote in a press release. In the association, they are horrified by the words of programme councillor Sašo Hribar, who on public radio not only “denied Slovenian history, but also the democratic system, which today allows him to express his views in accordance with the recognised freedom of speech”. According to them, it is the biggest scandal ever on RTV Slovenia, “there were too many victims and suffering to calmly watch lies on public media”.
As the VSO explained in the press release, programme councillor Sašo Hribar, who is otherwise employed by Radio Slovenia, appeared on the Radio Ga Ga show with a clear emphasis that he appears as Sašo Hribar and not as a performer on the show. On Friday, 21st April 2023, directly in the first programme of Radio Slovenia, he said, among other things:
“I speak like Sašo Hribar, not like Radio Gaga. The museum of Slovenian independence and its farts get on my nerves. Those who spoiled the Slovenian nation, those who messed up in Cankar Hall, are talking about a museum with which they should take pictures and have their own monuments. Claim: there was never a war of independence. There was aggression against Slovenia, but the historical circumstances were such that it was clear to everyone that the war could not flare up in Slovenia, because the army could not wait to go 100 kilometres lower. What happened in Slovenia was a telepathic civil war. At that time, it was said that on one side there were patriots, and on the other side there were those who betrayed their homeland. But these instigators from Cankar’s home did not have enough power at that time to infect all of us who were under arms to start a bloody fratricidal civil war. There was no war of independence, never! The farts from Cankar’s Hall are erecting a monument of hatred and saying that it is a monument of independence.”
VSO: The case is outrageous, the rhetoric is unacceptable
According to the above, the Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence is horrified by what was said. They are convinced that even if it were uttered in the context of satire, it is unacceptable rhetoric, especially given the fact that it was specifically emphasised that it was the opinion of Sašo Hribar and a dividing line was placed from the rest of the show. “It is an inadmissible abuse of the public radio medium, which in itself is a reason for action. Regarding the stated content, we emphasise that it is a blatant denial of the war of independence or Slovenian independence as the value centre of Slovenes. Based on the will of the plebiscite, despite the political divisions, for the first time in history, it united the Slovenian nation in an independent and democratic state and represents the realisation of its greatest political goal,” they wrote.
VSO: It is the biggest scandal on RTV Slovenia so far
“The independence role and efforts of those who were given the tasks and mandate of the Slovenian voters in the first democratic elections is a historical given” and in his commentary, according to the VSO, Hribar “degrades them to vulgarism without comparison, additionally attributes to them incitement, which fortunately was not emboldened enough to infect the people with civil war.” They claim that Hribar’s denial of the war of independence has so far been unheard of in Slovenian public space and that it was a “mockery to those who gave their lives for their homeland, lost relatives, suffered, experienced damage or were harmed in any way. It is about shaming those who went to defend their homeland with pure intentions. Last but not least, it is also a denial of history. It is Slovenia’s independence and the pro-democracy system that allow Sašo Hribar to express his views in accordance with the recognised freedom of speech. The problem is that he abused the programme time of the public radio for this, so we in the Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence demand a public apology on the same medium, and appropriate measures against the author and editors”.
“It is the biggest scandal ever on RTV Slovenia. There were too many victims and suffering to calmly observe lies on public media,” they wrote in the press release.