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    Copyright: The following text is for personal information only. Any professional use or publication in written or electronic form is subject to an agreement with AIM, 17 rue Rebeval, F-75019 Paris, France

    SUN, 02 JUL 1995 21:04:22 GMT

    THE WAR, THE NEGOTIATIONS, THE CELEBRATION

    AIM, Ljubljana, June 28, 1995 Slovenia is celebrating the fourth anniversary of its independence with by far the best economic results of all countries in Eastern and Central Europe - national income per capita reached almost nine thousand dollars (7.5 at the time it became independent); foreign currency reserves are approaching the figure of three billion dollars (250 thousand in 1991 when it became independent); last-year inflation reached 13 per cent, and this year it is below 10 per cent, and the governor of the Bank of Slovenia, Dr France Arhar repeated several times in the past fortnight that Slovenia would request international convertibility of the tolar; annual growth of production has reached stable 5 per cent in the past two years; unemployment is reduced by 7 per cent so that the number of unemployed persons is 116 thousand, which is below the critical 10 per cent of the population; the first phase of privatization has been completed. The Government is preparing programs for the second phase in which property relations will definitely be transformed into state and private and "improve" the results of arbitrary privatizations which cost the state several hundred million tolars, which is the sum stolen during the period of "acclimatization".

    In the sphere of political relations, on the international level, Slovenia is waiting to sign the contract on associated membership of the European Union, which was the strategic interest of its foreign policy all this time. Only lately, due to pressure exerted by Italy, one can hear cautious warnings that Slovenia will not agree at all cost to requirements which were not set for other associated and permanent members of the EU. That is why a "reserve" plan for Slovenia's rapprochement with states of the EU is carried out - bilateral agreements about free trade are being signed with them. Namely, 70 per cent of Slovenia's foreign trade exchange is with the states of the EU, and that is why it is joining the EFTA and other European trading and economic integrations, which is no problem since it is a member of all international economic and financial associations.

    Bargaining with the consortium of banks-creditors of Yugoslav non-allocated debts has been successfully completed. Slovenia will pay 18 per cent of these debts (between 700 and 800 million dollars), with the exception of those debts which were bought by banks from Serbia or, for their account, by banks from Cyprus, Russia, China or Iraq. In other words, Slovenia has avoided the solidarity clause which was customary at the time the joint state existed. Due to such results, the latest public opinion polls show that between 60 and 70 per cent of the persons polled support Prime Minister Drnovsek's Government, which does have a lot to brag about, although few of its members had time to actively participate in the recent celebrations of the fourth anniversary of the Republic's independence.

    The central state celebration was held in the Cankar Hall. President of the state, Milan Kucan delivered a speech warning that nobody had the right to claim for himself the results of democratic processes and successes in the ten-day-war in 1991, because those were the results of an entire nation, each man alone and all the citizens together. The celebration could not pass without "Ceasarian" outbursts of present and former leaders who, from political darkness, are trying to come out to the lit up political stage, where undoubtedly and with assurance, Kucan, Drnovsek, Bucar, a group of economic and pragmatic politicians stand, which believe that it is much more important how to live now than to seek reasons why in 1945 and 1947 things happened as they did, and demand settling accounts with the living and the dead, the former and the present, just because they were communists.

    This could best be felt at Ljubljana celebration of the Day of the State, where according to what was planned, all republican officials from the time of winning independence were expected to speak (and they did) - the first to speak was Ljubljana District-Prefect, Dimitrij Rupel, who was the minister of foreign affairs at the time; Lojze Peterle followed, the former prime minister, then France Bucar, chairman of the republican assembly, Milan Kucan, the former president of republican presidency, then Igor Bavcar, minister of internal affairs, and Janez Jansa, minister of defence. In fact, only Kucan and Bavcar spoke,the others read their speeches. Rupel spoke about harmony among the people, without which there would have been no success neither in the war nor in negotiations, which were also mentioned by Kucan and Bavcar. Bucan warned about international surroundings which were becoming increasingly unpleasant for Slovenia, so it was necessary to establish political (not national, although that too) homogeneity, instead of political quarrels and plots, which was immediately verified by Peterle and especially by Jansa. Peterle accused especially Kucan (although he did not actually name him) that power in the state was held by members of former communist structures and almost appealed for rotation of power, and Jansa, in his long speech more appropriate for rallies, called not just for rotation, but overthrowing the government, disqualifying in a populist manner, the EU, Italy, Croatia, which forced the Croat Ambassador Zagar to leave early. Kucan was welcomed at the platform by whistles, and Jansa by a loud applause. Kucan was seen off with an applause, and Jansa with whistles. Later, the journalists found out why. Namely, the journalists dug up that about 25 thousand invitations were distributed for the celebration at the Congress Square, which in the name of the City Assembly, were sent by Dimitrij Kovacic who is a member of Jansa's Social Democrats. The majority of the invitations was handed out to members of this party and related parties, so that one could already read in the press that Kovacic and Jansa had used the celebration for their party interests, although it was financed by tax payers without their knowledge, or because they did not wish to know. Who will pay the bill in the end, remains to be seen.

    The nicest contribution to marking of the fourth anniversary of the independence was given by the television which prepared a two-hour program titled "The War and Negotiations", the main protagonists of which were those who had commanded the war operations and those who had participated at Brioni negotiations with the three-member team from Europe at the time. The program revealed numerous details which were not known before, especially about negotiations between the Slovene delegation and the former JNA and with the delegation of the European ministers in Brioni. It was mentioned that there were two factions in the former leadership of the republic, those who were in favour of negotiations and a political solution, because they were aware that the army could have used all the potentials it actually did not activate, and those who were in favour of settling accounts regardless of the consequences for the civilian population and the cities. Kucan, Bucar, Kmecl, Ciril Zlobec were in the first, and Jansa with a few others was in the latter. The program spoke about the contribution of men from the former command of the JNA, mostly from Slovenia, who managed to send information about the intentions of the army and who, among other, sent word about the maximum conditions for the army to interrupt its operations in Slovenia and agree to withdrawal, so that the Slovene negotiators could adapt their tactics to facts they knew in advance. The only one who did not speak wisely at all was Jansa again. He presented a datum which might lay heavily on Slovenia in future negotiations about succession - the army left arms and equipment worth half a billion dollars in Slovenia, he said. Even from Jansa - it is too much, because this figure will become a very important argument in negotiations about division of property of the former joint state.

    Zoran ODI