Pahor to deliver keynote, Janša and Michel to address Statehood Day ceremony

Photo: BoBo

Ljubljana – The keynote speaker at the main ceremony marking Statehood Day and the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s independence will be President Borut Pahor, while PM Janez Janša and President of the European Council Charles Michel will deliver addresses as well. The event will be open to everyone, the Government Communication Office (UKOM) said.

The main Statehood Day ceremony, also marking the start of Slovenia’s EU presidency, will start in Republic Square at 9pm on Friday and will be divided in two parts, the UKOM said.

The first part will be dedicated to the declaration of independence and the defence of the country with Pahor as the keynote speaker. The prime ministers of all neighbouring countries will also take the stage.

The second part, marking the start of Slovenia’s presidency to the Council of the EU, will feature addressed by Michel and Janša.

A number of musicians, dancers and orchestras will perform.

As an introduction to Slovenia’s EU presidency, the film adaptation of Zdravljica (Toast), a poem by France Prešeren whose seventh stanza is Slovenia’s national anthem, will be screened for the first time, directed by Mitja Okorn.

Also present at the ceremony will be the Guard of the Slovenian Armed Forces, the flag-bearers of the army, police, independence, veteran and patriotic associations.

The event will be held in line with safety recommendations from the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) and only vaccinated, tested and reconvalescent persons will be allowed to join the seats area. Rapid tests will be conducted at the entrance.

The event will also be aired live by the public broadcaster on Radio Slovenija, TV Slovenija and on the MMC web portal.

Attendance has been confirmed for the STA by parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič and the president of the National Council, Alojz Kovšca.

Representatives of the four biggest religious communities – Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Muslim – will be there and so will the president of the Constitutional Court, Rajko Knez; the president of the Supreme Court, Damijan Florjančič; State Prosecutor General Drago Šketa and Commission for Corruption Prevention head Robert Šumi.

Information Commissioner Mojca Prelesnik and president of the Court of Audit Tomaž Vesel will not attend. The latter said he was on vacation.

Slovenia’s first President Milan Kučan said he would definitely take part in the honorary session of parliament ahead of the ceremony while he is yet to decide about the attendance of the state ceremony.

Opposition leaders Marjan Šarec from the LMŠ party and Luka Mesec from the Left also do not plan to attend. Mesec said he would take part in an anti-government protest instead, which is scheduled for 7pm in Prešeren Square.

The new Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) head, Ljubo Jasnič, said he would also not attend because he had not received an invitation. National Party (SNS) head Zmago Jelinčič will not attend either, as he will address a ceremony in Radenci. Meanwhile, Alenka Bratušek from the opposition SAB party and SocDem head Tanja Fajon will attend.