The Slovenia Times

Celebrations Galore on Eve of National Day


The most important day on the national calendar remembers 25 June 1991, when the Slovenian Assembly passed the Basic Constitutional Charter and the Declaration of Independence.

Ahead of the work-free day, the National Assembly will hold a ceremonial session in the evening, to be followed by the main ceremony in Congress Square in Ljubljana.

President Borut Pahor will be the keynote speaker at the public ceremony whose cultural programme, prepared by respected theatre director Edward Clug and composer Milko Lazar, will underscore the importance of unity.

Unity was a driving force of the independence efforts, which culminated six months after 88.2% of all registered voters opted for breaking away from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The unity message has again become a central theme in the country which has struggled to overcome the lingering recession.

Moreover, Recent National Day celebrations have been marred by squabbling along ideological lines which go back to the divisions in Slovenia during WWII.

It has been nothing out of ordinary to see rival ceremonies organised.

The differences have not been burried this year and the Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence has cancelled its attendance in protest against the presence of flags by the WWII Veterans' Association which bear the red star.

The state ceremonies will meanwhile be accompanied by a host of local events and a traditional mass for the homeland, which will be celebrated by the president of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference, Bishop of Novo Mesto Andrej Glavan.

The holiday is a chance to remember the victims of the ten-day Independence War, which was instigated by Yugoslav authorities following Slovenia's declaration of independence.

Pahor is scheduled to meet with relatives of soldiers and police officers who lost their lives while defending Slovenia and outgoing Defence Minister Roman Jakič will lay a wreath at the main memorial in Ljubljana to the fallen of the independence war.

Meanwhile, Jakič, Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek and Chief of the General Staff, Major General Dobran Božič, will take time to address Slovenian troops currently serving in international missions by video link.

Independence was officially declared at a 25 June 1991 ceremony in the square in front of the parliament building. Just hours later, the new state was attacked by the Yugoslav People's Army.

The hostilities ended on 7 July 1991 when Slovenia pledged in an EU-brokered declaration to suspend its independence efforts for three months.

When the moratorium expired in October 1991, Yugoslav troops left Slovenia and the country introduced its own currency.

The first country to recognise Slovenia was its southern neighbour Croatia (26 June 1991), which declared independence on the same day as Slovenia. International recognition followed in the months thereafter.


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