Apology from the President of the European Parliament

Sometimes you should also remember things that are not beautiful. In Europe, we often remember the tragic events of the First and Second World Wars that must not be repeated.

The European Union also emerged from a desire for peace.

That is why many Slovenes and Croats, even Italians, were very upset by the words of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.

At a ceremony marking the day of remembrance for the victims of the foib in Bazovica, where the Italians remember the dead during and after the Second World War, he said: »Long live Trieste, long live Italian Istria, long live Italian Dalmatia, long live Italian’s who were expelled.«

Tajani was not the only Italian politician who, on this day of remembering, forgot to mention Fascism under which many Slovenes suffered and died. And as President of a European institution, he should not have made statements that could break the relations between member states.

Tajani initially tried to dismiss the issue by saying he was misunderstood. Many people told him on social networks that he was not.

President Borut Pahor, when speaking about the [upcoming] election of MEPs to the European Parliament, said, among other things: »I expect Tajani to completely reject his words.«

In the afternoon, Tajani met with members from Slovenia and Croatia. After the meeting, he said: »I sincerely regret and apologise for using the words that may have offended your citizens.«

Finally, he added: »All forms of totalitarianism merit clear condemnation; victims of Fascism, Nazism and Communism must be treated with the same respect.«

 

Points to Consider

  1. Would it be good if children learned history from the same textbooks in different states?
  2. How well you know the history of your hometown?
  3. What about other towns?

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The original version of this article was published on February 14th.

English translation courtesy of JL Flanner, Total Slovenia News, an English language website with news from and about Slovenia.