Government Office for Slovenians Abroad of the Republic of Slovenia

09/15/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/15/2023 16:06

Message from Prime Minister on the occasion of the Day of the Return of Primorska to the Motherland

Message from Prime Minister Robert Golob on the occasion of the Day of the Return of Primorska to the Motherland


The Slovenian flag | Author Stanko Gruden/STA

Dear People of Primorska, Dear Citizens,

The Day of the Return of Primorska to the Motherland was approved by law in 2005 in memory of the tragic events in the area of Slovenia's current western border in the first half of the 20th century.

"Swords will cut here, blood will run knee deep, our blood will feed you, enemy blood will spoil you!" flow the verses written prophetically by poet Simon Gregorčič at the turn of the last century. Only twenty years later, the beautiful Soča River Valley became a bloody battlefield on the infamous Isonzo Front. The war was followed by decades of violence, obliterating the nation's culture, economy and identity under the rule of the fascist and later Nazi regime, which subjugated this area in World War II. It was not without reason that our ancestors called this area the "valley of tears" and that today the people of Primorska become teary-eyed when they hear the song "Vstala Primorska" (Primorska Has Risen).

We always remember with pride, but at the same time with great sadness, the events that caused so much pain and hatred between the two nations in the past. The brutal violence and suffering of the local population, regardless of nationality, was immense. The tragic losses of generations of soldiers on the Isonzo and Galicia Fronts, on battlegrounds in Africa, the Balkans, and Russia, as well as on local battlegrounds, continue to be part of family narratives about suffering and survival in this area, which has been home to an ethnically mixed population for millennia. Each ethnicity considered it to be its native national territory. Our past is a story of brave decisions and difficult trials and is a reminder of the rights gained by great effort and love for our culture and language.

Today, Primorska is an example of coexistence and solidarity between people. Selfless help and cooperation are based on dialogue, joint projects and a commitment to respecting the democratic values on which our society is based. I am proud of the cultural and economic prosperity of Slovenians living in Italy and happy that their ties with the motherland remain strong. Numerous cross-border exchanges, including Nova Gorica and Gorizia being designated the European Capital of Culture 2025, strengthen our commitment to a common future for this area. It is based on the knowledge of our own history and identity, on accepting differences and coexistence and on understanding past experiences as a reminder of peace and respect.

Good luck, dear Primorska, enter the new era with your head held high!

Dear fellow citizens, I wish you a joyous holiday.