Matic, Djindjic awarded Legion of Honor

Veran Matic

Dear Veran,

As a humanist, above all, and talented journalist, to us, you are a fighter for democratic values, press freedom and promotion of civil society.

Your personal history blends with the history of B92. No one may forget that you founded in May 1989 (the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall) Radio B92, the first independent radio station in Serbia. This radio broadcaster, under your guidance and with a team of activists, had constantly been a focal point of the struggle for democracy. This had brought persistent hostility on the part of the Milosevic regime, and Radio B92 had been a victim of constant harassment until its closure in March 1999.

However, B92 resumed its broadcast, via Internet in particular, and it was at the heart of the democratic movement which led to 5 October 2000.

Today, B92 is, all at the same time:
- a multimedia platform of truly exceptional quality (the first thing that I do in the morning, when I get up, is to check your web site);
- a vehicle for change and dialogue promoting European democratic values of tolerance and media independence;
- a media outlet living in a symbiosis with the civil society.

For the most part this is the achievement of yourself and your team which is a credit to the journalistic profession.

At the same time, I salute in you a man of commitment. Committed to many humanitarian causes, be it the fight against poverty and domestic violence, or the fight for women's issues, blood donation and cancer screening.

For all these reasons, Veran Matic, in the name of the President of the French Republic, I invest you as the Knight of the Legion of Honour.

Madam, Dear Ruzica,

By conferring today on you its highest honour, France would like, above all, to show its respect for one name - that of Zoran Djindjic, your spouse.

France would also like to pay tribute to you personally for the dignity with which you have embraced his spiritual legacy and for your adherence to the values that were his.

The name of Djindjic is, to us, a symbol of democracy and a promise of Europe for Serbia. Today, it is a sense of presence around you of all those who were his companions and who, in their responsible capacities at the helm of the state and society, continue to carry on his legacy. Starting with the President of the Republic whom I greet with respect and friendship.

By honouring this name, through you, Madam, France would like to confirm once again its full commitment to support for Serbia in its choice of democracy and on its path towards the European Union membership.

Zoran Djindjic, Madam, still lives through you and your children. By bestowing this honour upon you, France would like to show its admiration for the dignity with which you have embraced his legacy. Be it by your work on the promotion of the values of democracy, tolerance and human rights, or your work at the helm of the Zoran Djindjic Fund for the benefit of disadvantaged children, young people and students.

For all these reasons, Madam, in the name of the President of the French Republic, I invest you as the Knight of the Legion of Honour.

Back to: Veran Matic CV.

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