Holding a speech at the central ceremony on the eve of National Day, 24 June President Janez Drnovsek said that Slovenians have justified the existence of their country over the 14 years of its independence
The country has achieved above-average economic growth and is widely believed to have been the most successful in a transition from socialist regime to a market economy while preserving social balance at the same time, Drnovsek told the crowd in Republic Square.
He went on to say that the Slovenian nation knew how to fight for its place on the world map, an objective in which many bigger and more-developed countries and regions have failed.
Slovenia, according to the president, has been very cooperative on the international scene: it is active in the United Nations, is presiding over the OSCE this year, and is deploying its troops in international peace-keeping operations.
Moreover, the country is devoting its efforts to European integration, in which it sees an opportunity for lasting peace, economic progress and better life in Europe.
Touching on the recent referendum rejections of the EU constitution, Drnovsek said that EU citizens, although they now live better than ever before, want stronger guarantees for the future than those offered by politicians.
However, leaving in peace for six decades, Europeans seem to have started taking peace for granted. In truth though, peace can be preserved by values of European integration, which are all stated in the EU constitutional treaty, Drnovsek said.
Ahead of the 14th anniversary of Slovenia's independence, President Janez Drnovsek received congratulations from statesmen such as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Pope Benedict XVI, German President Horst Koehler, Russia's Vladimir Putin, Czech Vaclav Klaus and Serbian President Svetozar Marovic, the president's office said in a press release on Friday, 24 June.
Source: Slovene Press Agency STA