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President Pahor in Santa Croce/Križ near Trieste: "My friend President Mattarella and I have supported your efforts and those of your ancestors for freedom, democracy and coexistence."

Santa Croce, Trieste (Križ pri Trstu), 10. 7. 2021 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today visited Santa Croce/Križ near Trieste at the invitation of Franko Košuta, President of the cultural association "Fishing Museum of the Trieste Coast" in Santa Croce/Križ. President Pahor attended the main ceremony marking the anniversary of the signing of the memorandum on the return of the Narodni dom cultural centre to the Slovenian national community in Italy and the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's independence.

President Pahor in Santa Croce/Križ near Trieste: "My friend President Mattarella and I have supported your efforts and those of your ancestors for freedom, democracy and coexistence."
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

On arriving in the village, President Pahor laid a wreath at the memorial to the fallen for freedom from Santa Croce/Križ. President Pahor is the first Slovenian President to lay a wreath at this Partisan memorial. Together with village residents, he walked to the Church of St. Roch, where the Accademia Lirica Santa Croce association performed a song. This was followed by a closing ceremony at the Albert Sirk House of Culture, where President Pahor gave a speech.

"I am completely overwhelmed by this moment, by the beauty of this place and by your kindness. I would not change this moment for anything in the world," said the President, adding that today brought to his mind the historic event in Basovizza/Bazovica a year ago, when he and his friend President Mattarella shook hands and paid tribute to the victims in the hope of building a better future in harmony.

"If that handshake helped Slovenians and Italians to live in harmony in this common European homeland of ours, then I would not trade that handshake for anything in the world. What happened a year ago was a commemorative tribute and I feel obliged to tell you that, at that time, my friend President Mattarella and I supported your efforts and those of your ancestors for freedom, democracy and coexistence," President Pahor said in closing his speech and called on everyone to continue those efforts, because nothing can replace the strength that prevails in their hearts at that moment.

He thanked Mr Košuta for his long-standing efforts and for preserving the historical heritage of the Slovenians. With the Fishing Museum, he had given his town the recognition it deserved, he said.

President Pahor in Santa Croce/Križ near Trieste: "My friend President Mattarella and I have supported your efforts and those of your ancestors for freedom, democracy and coexistence."
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

In her speech, Tatjana Rojc, Senator of the Italian Republic, thanked President Pahor for having last year, together with President Mattarella, "put Trieste at the centre of the world to acknowledge what was in the past, while looking forward to the future we desire."

Franko Košuta, President Pahor's recipient of the decoration and President of the cultural association "Fishing Museum of the Trieste Coast" in Santa Croce/Križ, thanked the visitors for "honouring the historic visit of President Pahor, the highest representative of our country, to Santa Croce near Trieste." He also thanked President Pahor for paying tribute to "our fallen for freedom" by laying a wreath at the Memorial to the fallen for freedom from Santa Croce/Križ.

President Pahor is the first Slovenian President to lay a wreath at this Partisan memorial.

"On the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's independence, your visit has a special meaning for us. We know that you carry us in your heart," Mr Košuta concluded his address by wishing Slovenia every success in the future.

The ceremony was also attended by prominent representatives of the Slovenian national community in Italy, representatives of local authorities and residents of Santa Croce/Križ and the Trieste Karst. Among the guests was the Mayor of Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza.

After the main ceremony, with which the village residents marked the 30th anniversary of Slovenia's independence, President Pahor visited the Fishing Museum of the Trieste Coast.

Before his visit to Santa Croce/Križ, Roberto Dipiazza, Mayor of Trieste, presented President Pahor with the city's highest award, the Three Coats of Arms of Trieste (Trije grbi Trsta – Tre sigilli di Trieste), at the Municipal Palace in Trieste.

President Pahor in Santa Croce/Križ near Trieste: "My friend President Mattarella and I have supported your efforts and those of your ancestors for freedom, democracy and coexistence."
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA