The interview of the President of the Republic for Spanish News Agency EFE
Ljubljana, 03/27/2006 | interview
The interview of the President of the Republic of Slovenia Dr Janez Drnovšek for Spanish News Agency EFE
(in Spanish language
in pdf format )
A President Committed to Reinforcing his Politics with Spirituality
The problems of the indigenous peoples in Latin America or the drama of famine in the African region of Darfur are matters which occupy the attention of Janez Drnovšek, the president of Slovenia, who in his interview with EFE admitted his search for a spiritual life and his commitment to fighting injustice in the world.
Janez Drnovšek is 55 years old, has received various international prizes in the field of economics and, as prime minister of Slovenia (1992–2002), was at the forefront of the country’s transformation from former communist state to one of the most successful countries of the European Union.
Today Drnovšek considers himself a new man: he has beaten cancer, become a vegetarian and left his party, Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) in order to found the Movement for Justice and ‘together make a better world’.
In fluent Spanish, the Slovenian leader described his experience as the only European head of state present at the swearing-in ceremony of Bolivian president Evo Morales, during which he chewed a coca leaf as a ‘symbolic act of solidarity with oppressed peoples’.
He believes that ‘Evo Morales’s victory is of historic importance for all the indigenous peoples of Latin America.’
‘They have suffered much over the centuries. Their society is unjust.’
Drnovšek warns that choosing the wrong direction could lead humanity towards catastrophes, but he does not favour revolutions. Instead, he advocates a profound, internal, spiritual transformation.
‘I say – and I believe that Evo Morales thinks the same way – that we have to change society and the world in a more conscious manner, through an internal transformation... with greater spiritual force. Violent revolutions have failed. We cannot build a new, better world with blood and new injustices,’ he explains.
In recent months he has been trying to draw the world’s attention to the human catastrophe in the Sudanese region of Darfur, where paramilitary forces are persecuting thousands of refugees.
‘I have presented several political and humanitarian initiatives to improve the situation in Darfur. I have tried to awaken the world’s conscience in order to help people who are suffering...’ says Drnovšek, who believes that his efforts have proved useful for the Slovenes themselves.
‘In Slovenia we have organised a humanitarian campaign. With great success. My view is that when we help Darfur (or others who are suffering) we are also helping ourselves. We become better people, more open and more generous. And it seems to me that we have helped goad international politics into doing something, into putting an end to the genocide in Darfur.’
Even so, there are many who are obstructing the solution. This, believes Drnovšek, is because ‘the Sudanese government does not care about the suffering of its people. The rebels are already fighting among themselves for future power. International diplomats are taking a lot of time over fictitious campaigns.’
‘I have nothing but admiration for the thousands of humanitarian volunteers who are working in Darfur in extremely difficult conditions and saving lives.’
Drnovšek rejects the idea that a gesture like this on the part of the president of a small country – or any human being – is insignificant, because, he says, ‘everyone can do something. And must do something. Every life we save is important.’
He adds that by following his inner voice he managed to beat the cancer with which he was diagnosed in 2000, although his doctors have not yet given him the all clear.
‘That’s how it is. I have simplified my life. I live in the country and I only think positively. I follow my intuition. Now I have a lot more energy,’ he reveals.
For the last year the president of Slovenia has been living in a wooden house in the middle of the countryside, where he bakes bread that he has prepared himself using organic flour, and both he and his mastiff Brodi are vegetarians – a philosophy which he will attempt to make transcend the interests of the European Union.
On the strength of his new spiritual view of politics he has presented a peace plan for Kosovo (Serbia) and apologised for the cartoons of the prophet Mohammed which were published by some Slovenian newspapers.
His website champions the conservation of nature and the protection of children, old people and animals, and bases itself on the positive energy among human beings and the genuine Christianity preached by Jesus.
Nevertheless, he insists that his transformation from politician to spiritual and humanitarian leader was not a sudden one: ‘Everybody changes. The important thing is to change for the better. One has to raise one’s consciousness. And the important thing is the truth. You have to tell the truth to yourself and to everyone. That is what I do now.’
Terra Actualidad - EFE