Slovenian PM "stole" Blair speech

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša’s famous speech on the anniversary of the country's independence was copied from Tony Blair, claim Slovenian media.

Source: B92

The claims by daily Mladina that Janša plagiarized the majority of his speech two years ago on the 15th anniversary of Slovenian independence have sparked a veritable media storm.

The prime minister is said to have modeled the speech on an address given by the former British prime minister 11 years ago at the British Labour Party conference in Brighton.

Blair told the party faithful back then, having recently come to power, that “we’ll never be the biggest. We’ll probably never be the strongest. But we can be the best...”, words repeated almost verbatim by Janša in his speech.

Readers of Slovenian daily Večer voted these words as the most memorable of 2006, and Janša even received an award.

In 1997, Blair said that he wanted “to set an ambitious goal for this country. To be nothing less than a model country for the 21st century, to be a beacon...,” while the Slovenian prime minister said that “we wish to be nothing less than one of the most successful countries in the world. A beacon for the 21st century.”

Since last night, Slovenian media have been showing extensive footage of the speech, suggesting that Janša’s award-winning speech, when, in the words of the media at the time “a politician became a statesman”, was, in fact, nothing but plagiarism.

The Slovenian opposition Lipa party has pounced on the opportunity, claiming that the prime minister deceived the Slovenian people by “using a stolen speech”, and even had the gall to receive an award for it.

Lipa believes that Janša lacks the moral integrity to address the Slovenian people directly, and that his speech is bereft of the most important elements of “creativity, commitment, justness, and respect.” Lipa is now calling on him to issue a public apology for such a “low trick".


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