Slovenia marking independence anniversary
Ljubljana, 23 December - Slovenia starts annual celebrations of its independence on Monday, which marks the 29th anniversary of the independence plebiscite that culminated in the declaration of the results on 26 December 1990, now celebrated as Independence and Unity Day.
The main national Independence and Unity Day ceremony will be held this evening at Cankarjev Dom with a keynote address by President Borut Pahor, preceded by a ceremonial session of the National Assembly.
Prime Minister Marjan Šarec will host a reception for the relatives of those who died in the independence war, while Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore will say homeland mass at the Ljubljana cathedral.
The rightist Association for the Values of Slovenian Independence (VSO) marked the independence anniversary last Monday with a ceremony featuring Democrat (SDS) leader Janez Janša as the keynote speaker.
Janša said the independence referendum almost three decades ago was the highlight in the history of the Slovenian nation.
Slovenians voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence in the 23 December 1990 referendum, endorsing leaving Yugoslavia with a majority of almost 95%, equalling 88.5% of all eligible voters.
Three days later, on 26 December 1990, the National Assembly declared the outcome, triggering a milestone year that included the declaration of independence in June 1990 and a ten-day war.
Legally speaking, the independence efforts were completed on 23 December 1991, when the National Assembly declared the Slovenian Constitution. This is why 23 December is observed as Constitution Day.