The Slovenia Times

Slovenia's Road to Independence


The first boos on the Slovenian language, "Catechism" and "Abecedarium" (a spelling book), written by Protestant reformer Primož Trubar (1508-1586), are published in Germany. Trubar is the first to address the nation with "my dear Slovenians". His phrase from Catechism, Stati inu obstati ("to stand and withstand") is inscribed in 2007 on the Slovenian one euro coin.

The idea of a "United Slovenia" is voiced for the first time as part of the revolutionary turmoil in the Austrian Empire in March 1848. The political movement is stifled with the reactionary policies of Bach's absolutism and moves into the cultural sphere. Four years earlier, poet France Prešeren writes "Zdravljica", a patriotic poem which becomes the anthem of independent Slovenia at the end of the 20th century.

29 October 1918
Slovenians get their first national government with the establishment of the State of Slovens, Croats and Serbs, which fails to get international recognition during its short existence and merges on 1 December with the Kingdom of Serbia to become the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovens. National governments are abolished shortly thereafter. In 1929, King Alexander I declares a dictatorship, dividing the country into provinces, with most of Slovenian territory included in the Dravska banovina province.

The Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) meets in November 1943 to lay down the framework for socialist Yugoslavia by deciding that southern Slavic nations are to live in six constituent republics with equal rights, Slovenia being one of them. AVNOJ is the political wing of the National Liberation Movement, which fights during WWII against occupying forces and for change in power.

Slovenia gets its first constitution. The document was based on the Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was adopted a year earlier and was in turn based on the Soviet Constitution from 1936. It aimed to enact and strengthen the new social order and socio-economic relations.

A new Constitution is passed in Yugoslavia, defining the individual republics as countries and giving them more economic independence, leading to greater decentralisation of the federal state.

4 May - Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia's leader since 1945, dies. Many saw him as the last unifying element of Yugoslavia, a country of several nations, of different levels of economic development and historical background.

February 1987
The 57th volume of the literary journal Nova revija is published, featuring the first outline of an independent Slovenian national programme. The authors demand the abolition of communism and the introduction of a democratic system, free market economy and an independent country. Editor-in-chief Dimitrij Rupel, who later becomes foreign minister, is sacked because of the articles.

31 May - The arrests start of three journalist of the weekly Mladina, including Janez Janša, who later becomes the leader of the Democratic Party (SDS), and an ex-army officer over the divulging of a classified military document on the combat readiness of the Yugoslav army. The arrests and trial mobilise a great part of the Slovenian public, sparking wide protests with great pressure from the public eventually leading to the four - convicted to sentences ranging from five months to four years - being released within a year's time. The JBTZ affair is seen as an important catalyst for the democratic movement in Slovenia.

27 September - The parliament of the Social Republic of Slovenia passes 81 amendments to the Slovenian Constitution, introducing among other things a lasting right of the Slovenian nation to self determination.

9 November - The Berlin Wall is torn down, which marks the start of democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe.

4 December - The Slovenian Democratic Union (SDZ), the Slovenian Christian Democrats (SKD) and the Social Democrat Alliance of Slovenia sign a cooperation agreement, which means the formation of the DEMOS (Democratic Slovenian Opposition) coalition. This is possible after the then Slovenian authorities allowed the launch of political parties despite opposition from the central Yugoslav authorities in Belgrade.

20-22 January - The Communist Party of Yugoslavia decides at a congress meeting to abolish the single-party system in Yugoslavia, but because some of their proposals are rejected, delegates from the Slovenian Communist Party stage a walkout. In practice, this means a collapse of the Communist Party. The 14th congress of the Yugoslav Communist Party is also its last congress, a turning point which triggers a cascade of events leading to Yugoslavia's breakdown.

8 April - The first multi-party elections in Slovenia are held, bringing a victory of the DEMOS coalition. Voters also elect the collective Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. Milan Kučan, the president of the central committee of the Slovenian Communist Party, is elected president in a run-off with dissident Jože Pučnik, the DEMOS candidate. Literary expert Matjaž Kmecl, Slovenian Farmers' Alliance head Ivan Oman, Slovenian Greens president Dušan Plut and poet Ciril Zlobec are elected members.

9 May - The new Slovenian Assembly, the country's parliament, holds its maiden session and elects dissident law professor France Bučar its first speaker.

16 May - A government featuring the DEMOS coalition led by Lojze Peterle of the Slovenian Christian Democrats (SKD) is appointed.

17 May - An order enters into force, issued two days earlier upon the demand by the central government in Belgrade, on the disarming of independent Slovenian army units, which prompts the formation of a paramilitary organisation in the country.

8 July - The first reconciliation commemoration is held in memory of those killed by communists after WWII at a mass burial ground in the woods of Kočevski Rog (S) where a monument is erected to remember post-WWII killings. The ceremony, addressed by President Milan Kučan and Archbishop of Ljubljana Alojzij Šuštar, is an attempt to symbolically overcome the nation's ideological divide.

6 December - The Slovenian Assembly passes a law announcing a referendum on the country's independence from Yugoslavia.

17 December - A Territorial Defence unit, viewed as a precursor of the Slovenian army, is lined up in Kočevska Reka (S) to display military power before the independence referendum.

23 December - The Slovenian independence referendum, known as plebiscite, is held. The voters are asked the question: "Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?"

26 December - The results of the independence referendum are officially announced. The turnout was 93.2% and 88.5% of all voters or 94.8% of those participating voted in favour of independence. 26 December is later declared a national holiday called Independence and Unity Day.

8 January - Serbian authorities break into the Yugoslav financial system and take an equivalent of US$1.4bn out of the National Bank of Yugoslavia. This marks the start of the collapse of the Yugoslav economic system.

9 January - Despite opposition from Croatian member Stipe Mesič and Slovenia's Janez Drnovšek, the Yugoslav Federal Presidency passes upon the proposal of the leadership of the Yugoslav People's Army a decree on the disarmament of all special units not part of the Army.

10 January - Representatives of the Yugoslav republics meet in Belgrade to start talks on the future of the Yugoslav federation.

20 February - Slovenia leaves Yugoslavia's legal system. An amendment to the Slovenian Constitution annuls all articles of the Constitution that transferred the republic's independence onto the federation.

8 March - The Slovenian Assembly passes a military service act that ends obligatory service in the Yugoslav People's Army for Slovenian citizens.

15 May - The first generation of Slovenian soldiers start training at the training centres of the Slovenian Territorial Defence Forces at Ig near Ljubljana and at Pekre near Maribor.

23 May - The first military incident takes place as the Yugoslav People's Army tries to prevent the training of Slovenian soldiers at the Pekre training centre. A day later a protester dies after he is run over by a Yugoslav Army vehicle in front of the Yugoslav Army barracks in Maribor, in what is the first victim of Slovenia's independence efforts.

2 June - The first generation of Slovenian soldiers take the oath at the training centres at Ig near Ljubljana and Pekre near Maribor.

25 June - The Slovenian Assembly promulgates legislation on Slovenia's independence, including the Basic Charter of Slovenia's Independence and the Declaration of Independence. A day earlier, Slovenia gets a new flag and a new coat of arms.

26 June - Slovenia's independence is declared at a ceremony in the Square of the Republic in front of the Parliament House in Ljubljana.

27 June - The Independence War, also known as the "Ten-Day War", breaks out as the Yugoslav People's Army attacks Slovenia.

7 July - Independence efforts are put on hold for three months as representatives of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Yugoslavia's federal authorities and the European Community troika sign the Brijuni Declaration; the Yugoslav People's Army ceases fire.

18 July - The collective Presidency of Yugoslavia takes a decision under which the Yugoslav People's Army would pull out of Slovenia within three months.

24 July - An administrative decree is issued in line with which Slovenian soldiers are officially no longer part of the Yugoslav People's Army.
30 July - Lithuania becomes the first country to recognise independent Slovenia. Croatia already did so on 26 June, but was itself still seeking recognition at the time.

7 October - The Brijuni Declaration moratorium ends and Slovenia takes control of its borders, while parliament decides that the tolar will be Slovenia's new currency.

25 October - The last Yugoslav People's Army soldiers leave Slovenian territory from the port of Koper. In 2015, 25 October is declared Sovereignty Day.

8 December - The Badinter Arbitration Committee establishes that Yugoslavia (the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia) no longer exists.

16 December - Foreign ministers from the European Community, the EU's precursor, decide that the Community will recognise the independence of all Yugoslav republics which wish so and meet certain criteria.

19 December - Germany, Sweden and Iceland recognise Slovenia as the first Western European countries to do so. The recognition by Germany and Sweden takes effect on 15 January 1992.

23 December - The first Constitution of independent Slovenia is passed.


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