The Slovenia Times

President calls for mutual respect, national cohesion

Politics

Ljubljana - President Borut Pahor urged Slovenians to respect each other, stressing in his Resistance Day address that what brings the nation together outweighs what tears it apart with regard to recent history.

Resistance Day commemorates the day in 1941 that the Liberation Front was established. It is seen as a heroic act of resistance against the overmighty occupying forces, but on the political right in particular it is emphasised as the start of a Communist revolution.

Pahor said it as possible to live side-by-side despite having a different take on recent history.

"The most important thing is to listen, hear ... and also respect each other. It is decisive for our common future that everyone may air their views. This is the right of everyone, and it must not be curtailed, even when it comes to circumstances that we are witnessing today."

According to Pahor, the nation faced a series of tests during the Second World War, which is why it is important to listen to one another regardless of the differences.

He said the armed resistance by the Partisans brought together "the vast majority of patriots, brave people" who stood up for the freedom of the Slovenian nation.

Nobody has the right to forget what the Slovenian Partisan movement, alone and with allies, did for the nation. "Without it the Slovenian nation would not have been free and without it there would not have been the historical arc that facilitated Slovenian statehood."

Turning to the pertinence of historical events to the present day, Pahor said history had taught Slovenians that words are powerful.

"Bad things often start with a word. Word should be calm, clear and decisive, but always respectful and never hateful. None of us has the right to ostracise those who have a different opinion just because they value their own."

The ceremony at the Presidential Palace also featured Marijan KriĆŸman, the head of the WWII Veterans' Association, who framed the national liberation struggle as a bedrock of Slovenian independence.

He also criticised the government for refusing to invite the association to the main national ceremony today at Mala Gora, arguing that this government "ostracises others when they are in power", which he said was not a path to reconciliation.

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