Honor guards attend the Statehood Day ceremony in Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 25, 2021. Slovenia celebrated Statehood Day on Friday to mark the 30th anniversary of the country's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia. (Photo by Zeljko Stevanic/Xinhua)
LJUBLJANA, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia celebrated Statehood Day on Friday to mark the 30th anniversary of the country's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia.
The main ceremony started on Republic Square at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) and was divided into two parts -- the first part dedicated to the declaration of independence, and the second marking the start of Slovenia's presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on July 1.
On Friday morning, Slovenian President Borut Pahor held an open doors day at the Presidential Palace, and then laid a wreath on the Monument to the Victims of All Wars and Victims Connected with Wars in Slovenia on Congress Square.
Pahor made an appeal for a new national consensus in his address to the Statehood Day ceremony, highlighting the importance of shared goals and cooperation. He also called for respect of differences and diversity.
Pahor said Slovenia needed a "guiding idea" about the future upon which consensus and unity can be built, adding that three decades after its independence, it is time to have a consensus on a green, digital and economically sustainable development for the next 30 years.
Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa took over the presidency of the EU from Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva at the Statehood Day ceremony.
Jansa said Slovenia would do its utmost in the next six months to ensure a speedy and effective recovery from the epidemic in Europe and that they would establish essential elements for greater resilience of the EU to the next crises as soon as possible.
Jansa warned against using double standards, saying that as the presiding country, Slovenia would fight for equal standards for everyone.
The prime ministers of Austria, Croatia and Hungary, the foreign minister of Italy, and the president of the European Council congratulated Slovenia on the 30th anniversary of its independence and wished it a successful stint at the helm of the EU as they addressed the Statehood Day celebration.
The Guard of the Slovenian Armed Forces, the flag-bearers of the army, police, as well as independence, veteran and patriotic associations attended the ceremony, at which a number of musicians, dancers and orchestras performed.
Organizers of weekly anti-government protests staged an alternative celebration of Statehood Day. A crowd filled Preseren Square as speakers criticized political elites. Enditem