16 December 2010
Address of the Prime Minister, Borut Pahor on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Slovenia
Dear fellow citizens,
Dear Slovenes at home and abroad,
It has been twenty years since the Slovenes opted in a referendum to create an independent country. For me, this is the greatest moment in Slovenian history. We are celebrating unity and independence. We finally became masters of our destiny. The historical events which led to this breakthrough, ended impressively.
Twenty years later, we – the current leaders of Slovenia in particular – should ask ourselves to what extent the dreams of those who took such a brave decision have been fulfilled. Because Slovenes do not distinguish sufficiently between self-criticism and self-confidence, the notion that only a few have profited from these great changes, while others have gained nothing, and that the majority remain rather indifferent to the legacy of the past two decades, has been overemphasised.
I believe this view of the past is too critical, and not confident enough, particularly as it creates an atmosphere of mistrust regarding our hopes for the future. In two decades, our nation has made many changes for the better, and secured its history, so that it can develop plans for the future without major concerns.
We have to learn from mistakes made due to negligence or partiality, which such a small nation that is open to the world can survive only if it sees itself as a community, and if its leaders take decisions for the benefit of the whole community rather than the economically or politically privileged.
This is my prime responsibility, which I faithfully accept as long as I have your mandate. At this moment of celebration, and at all times, nothing is more important to me. I look to the future with determination, courage and the humility required before the immensity and complexity of the challenges which I plan to overcome, together with you, for the benefit of the people.
I wish you all and your loved ones a happy and loving Christmas and New Year holiday.