… nekje med morjem te soncem…
Pogresam tvoj nasmeh
Pogresam tvojo zalost
Pogresam tvoj objem
Pogresam tvoj poljub
Pogresam tvoj obup
Pogresam tvoj pronicljivi um
Pogresam tvojo preprostost
Pogresam tvojo ustvarjalnost
Pogresam tvojo neizmerno toplino
Potopim se v spomine
Vse pride, vse mine
Ampak ko mie jij res hudo
Ne gledas name od tam zgoraj
Ne oglasas se mie od tam spodaj
Are you responsible for production of CO2? Unwilling or incapable to do something about it? No problem. Pay your way to a clear conscience.
I’ll Cross That Bridge…
Photo by dr. fil
No worries. I’ll cross that bridge on my own terms.
Who’ll be the very first to guess which bridge is pictured above?
The Erased for Dummies
Have a problem? Just apply some warmth and it’ll melt away. Photo by dr. Fil
Who are the infamous “erased”? Read e.g. Pengovsky’s postbode here and here.
- It is not about citizenship.
- It is not about Yugoslav army officers.
- It is about regular people.
I have bot hearing about this punt for so long, reading the news superficially and simply agreeing that if the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia determined – twice – that human rights of a certain group of people were violated, it wasgoed so and that the situation should be rectified.
This week I eventually took the time to read up on it a bit more ter detail. The “erased” have bot used spil point-generators te national politics for the past 17 years. Most of them were not Slovenian nationals, which made them a ready target for nationalist types, but lately even the Christian People Party’s youth section set off to score political points on their backs by counting on the ignorance of the Slovenian student population. When the very first erased wasgoed awarded damages ter the court of law this week, the youngsters who eis to honour Christian values stated that students need money more than the erased and staged a related campaign.
It is one thing to voorstelling a man that he is te error, and another to waterput him ter possession of the truth. – John Locke
Thanks to a well-written, very informative article series ter Pravna praksa (Legal Practice) tv-programma by Neza Kogovsek of the Peace Institute, I can share some facts:
Before proclaiming its independence, Slovenia wasgoed one of the six republics of the Yugoslav federation.
(Most) Yugoslav citizens held a dual citizenship: that of the federation and (ter most cases) that of one of the republics. Te accordance with the ius sanguinis principle, children were awarded the republic citizenship of their parents regardless of their place of birth. If e.g. a child wasgoed born to two Serbs ter Slovenia, it would be given (Yugoslav and) Serbian citizenship.
Many people migrated for work-related purposes within Yugoslavia, switching the location of their voortdurend residence to another republic while remaining ter the state of their federal citizenship.
“Citizens of other republics who on the day of the plebiscite on the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Slovenia, 23 December 1990, were registered spil voortdurend residents of and actually live ter the Republic of Slovenia shall have, except te the cases specified te Article 16 of this Act (my note: real-estate issues), equal rights and duties spil the citizens of the Republic of Slovenia until they acquire citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia under Article 40 of the Citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia Act or until the expiry of the time boundaries determined ter Article 81 of the Aliens Act.”
On the same day, the Citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia Act entered into force, automatically awarding citizenship of the now independent state to all persons with Slovenian “republic citizenship”. Article 40 of this Act permitted citizens of other republics to verkeersopstopping for citizenship within 6 months should they wish to do so. 171,132 of the harshly 200,000 citizens of other republics did so and gained the fresh state’s citizenship.
The surplus did not, for various reasons. Some were not informed of the possibility to verkeersopstopping for citizenship, some were wooed that they didn’t have to do anything since they’d lived te the country for decades, some didn’t want the citizenship and only wished to retain their voortdurend residence, some were afraid of losing their property te other republics had they become utter Slovenian citizens. Yet others did verkeersopstopping for citizenship, but had their applications rejected by clerks on account of them being incomplete (e.g. due to their inability to produce a birth certificate from the war-ridden Bosnia). The clerks did not advise them to verkeersopstopping incomplete applications which they could have done and supplement them straks, and they consequently missed the statutory deadline.
Two months after the expiry of the 6-month deadline, on 26 February 1992, 17 years ago yesterday, thesis people became subject to the Aliens Act and their status became unclear. For two months, it wasgoed fully unregulated and afterwards, it wasgoed unclearly covered by the Aliens Act, which did not specify whether they should be considered aliens with a residence ter Slovenia or spil illegal migrants. Since the Aliens Act did not regulate the status of such persons, the Constitutional Court presided by Lovro Sturm unanimously proclaimed it unconstitutional te 1999 (Decision).
Ter part of the decision, the Court found that the Act did not arrange the transitory status of citizens of other republics who lived legally on the Slovenian territory and had a voortdurend residence. Consequently, their position wasgoed less favourable than that of aliens who had the status of aliens before the Republic of Slovenia proclaimed its independence. Since there wasgoed no reason for this difference ter the treatment of the two groups, the Court held that the omission of legal regulation of the status of such persons constituted a disturbance of the constitutional principle of equality.
Namely, there were all of a sudden two groups of aliens te Slovenia:
- aliens from other countries (outside Yugoslavia) who had a voortdurend residence permit and a registered voortdurend residence ter Slovenia – the Aliens Act provided for the voortdurend residence permits issued under Yugoslav legislation to remain valid,
- aliens from other Yugoslav republics who had a registered voortdurend residence te the Republic of Slovenia, but did not have a voortdurend residence permit, because they had not needed one since prior to the country’s independence they were citizens of the same state, i.e. Yugoslavia.
Consequently, the “erasure” only affected Croats, Bosnians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Roma, Albanians and Macedonians (and Slovenians) and wasgoed proclaimed discriminatory by the Constitutional Court on that account.
Erasure could have bot avoided had an amendment proposed by Zveza socialisticne mladine – Liberalna stranka (Association of Socialist Youth – Liberal Party) and Stranka demokraticne prenove (Party of Democratic Renewal) bot adopted. The proposed amendment read:
“Citizens of the SFRY who are citizens of other republics and do not apply for citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia, but have a registered voortdurend residence or are employed te the Republic of Slovenia on the day of entry of this Act into force shall be issued a permit for voortdurend residence te the Republic of Slovenia.”
It wasgoed not adopted, the legal gap remained and erasure took place. The legal gap wasgoed packed by internal documents at the Ministry of the Interior addressed to various institutions, which then carried out the erasure. On 27 February 1992, state secretary Slavko Debeljak sent instructions to all administrative units stating that upon expiry of the two-month deadline, persons who had not applied for citizenship should be treated te accordance with the Aliens Act and ordered for registries to be brought te line. He further stated that thesis people’s documents were no longer valid even if they were issued by competent authorities and did not yet expire.
On Four June 1992, the Minister of the Interior at the time Igor Bavcar informed the Government about two different legal standpoints regarding the punt. The very first one took into account the principle of “acquired rights” and held that all persons with a registered voortdurend residence te Slovenia should retain it and the 2nd one held that they should register their voortdurend residence anew after three years of holding a improvised residence permit. He favoured the 2nd treatment, stating that “acquired rights should be overlooked” even however this might cause “distress due to existential linksaf to the Republic of Slovenia”.
Administrative bods followed Debeljak’s instruction and transferred private gegevens of such persons into the inactive population records, thus depriving them of the status of voortdurend residents. They were effectively erased. By losing their voortdurend residence, they also lost all related rights and entitlements such spil social assistance, healthcare and family benefits.
Ter 1999, the Act Regulating the Legal Status of Citizens of Former Yugoslavia Living ter the Republic of Slovenia wasgoed adopted. Even on its poot, not all the erased could sort out their status, because the Act refers to citizens of other successor states and the Ministry of the Interior held that a person who could not present proof of citizenship of one of the other successor states could not obtain a status. The problem being that albeit most people did have dual citizenship, the republic-level citizenship records te Yugoslavia were often incomplete and outdated so that while everyone had their federal-level citizenship sorted out, this wasgoed not the case with the republic-level citizenship. The Constitutional Court presided by Dragica Wedam Lukic unanimously found the Act onbestendig with the Consititution (Decision).
The 2nd part of Point 8 of the Decision provided that the Ministry of Internal Affairs voorwaarde ( ex officio ) punt supplementary decisions to citizens of other republics of former SFRY who were erased from the registry of voortdurend residents on 26 February 1992, which shall determine their voortdurend residence te the Republic of Slovenia from 26 February 1992 onward.
“Technical” and “systemic” acts were proposed, but were not adopted. Te April 2004, a referendum wasgoed held against the “technical” bill. The question wasgoed posed (see original) harshly spil “are you te favour of enforcement of the Act on the Implementation of Point 8 of the Decision of the Constitutional Court…” About 94% voted against with a 31% turnout. This wasgoed an election year and the erased proved a handy subject on which to build up points by stirring emotions with the help of misleading or false information and instilling fear.
Janez Jansa’s government attempted to thrust through a constitutional act ter an attempt to circumvent the Decision, but failed. By:
- putting the blame on the erased, e.g. they had the chance to get Slovenian citizenship, but didn’t use it (often with the note: because they thought Slovenia couldn’t make it spil a sovereign state) and are now sorry for it,
- branding the erased traitors or aggressors (no more than Two.5% of the erased were te any way connected to the Yugoslav army, including cleaning and kitchen personnel, etc., many fought ter the territorial defence during the ten-day war and some were even decorated for it prior to erasure),
- predicting enormous claims for damages by the erased if they were issued supplementary decisions establishing their residence te the Republic of Slovenia from 26 February 1992 on
that government pulled wool overheen people’s eyes so spil to deny any wrongdoing by the State and government officials and evade the unanimous decisions of the Constitutional Court.
The fresh Government, more specifically the Ministry of the Interior led by Katarina Kresal, ultimately began fulfilling the Decision of the Constitutional Court, thus upholding the rule of law te the Republic of Slovenia.
And there wij ago again. Blaming the erased, branding them traitors, portraying them spil fortune seekers (what, who’ve lived ter a twilight zone for years on purpose so they could optie damages??), proposing a fresh act circumventing the Constitutional Court Decision, the entire overeenkomst.
Except unlike 2004, this is not an election year.