Minority organisations urge govt to restore communism victims day

Ljubljana, 27 May - Two organisations representing the Slovenian ethnic communities in Austria and Italy have started a petition to call on the Slovenian government to restore National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Communism.

Kočevski Rog
The annual ceremony commemorating victims of post-WWII reprisals by the communists.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS) and the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO) find the government's decision to cancel the day was inappropriate.

"The abolition has escalated socio-political relations as well as relationships between ordinary people. This is not good and leads in a direction opposite to national reconciliation," reads a joint statement from the NSKS, an umbrella organisation of the Slovenian minority in Austrian Carinthia, and the SSO, an umbrella organisation of the Slovenian minority in Italy.

The organisations' presidents Valentin Inzko and Walter Bandelj agree with former Slovenian President Borut Pahor that the government's decision is inappropriate and unacceptable.

Inzko and Bandelj have initiated a petition calling on the government to reverse its decision to revoke the designation of the remembrance day and to avoid actions that deepen national divisions.

The petition states that communist violence has been proved as a fact thoroughly by experts, as have other facts, from the fascist and Nazi occupation and collaboration to the post-war communist dictatorship.

The pair want their initiative to have the widest possible support and have invited all those who agree with their appeal to sign it.

So far, 98 members of the Slovenian minority communities in Austria and Italy have signed the petition. Inzko and Bandelj intend to forward the signed appeal to the government in the coming days.

17 May was designated as National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Communism by the Janez Janša government on 12 May 2022, when the previous government was already in caretaker capacity.

Its successor, the Robert Golob government revoked the decision just hours before the remembrance day was to be marked this year.

© STA, 2023