STA, 15 February 2019 - Slovenia's European Commissioner Violeta Bulc has invited European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to join her in paying respect to Slovenian victims of fascist and Nazi violence by visiting the former Nazi concentration camp Risiera in Trieste and the nearby village of Basovizza.
Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc issued the invitation in a letter after a Twitter exchange with Tajani in the wake of his recent contentious speech at a commemoration of Italian victims of WWII aftermath events.
While Tajani said "I'm ready" as the proposal was made by Bulc in the 11 February Twitter exchange in which the commissioner accused him of distorting historical facts, he has not yet responded to the letter.
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Bulc is proposing they jointly lay wreaths at Risiera and at a memorial near the village of Basovizza to honour the deaths of three Slovenian and a Croatian anti-fascists at the hands of Italian soldiers in 1930. They are considered the first victims of fascism in Europe.
It was Basovizza where Tajani remembered the Italian victims of post-war executions and Italian exiles from the regions of Istria and Dalmatia last Sunday, calling out "Long live Trieste, long live the Italian Istria, long live the Italian Dalmatia" in the process. He has since apologised for these words.
In the letter, Bulc welcomes Tajani's willingness to accompany her and proposes that the gesture be made on "25 April to commemorate Italy's Liberation Day".
"In these challenging times for the EU it is more important than ever before to promote the EU as project for peace, solidarity and unity and as bringing prosperity to all our nations," Bulc wrote in the letter, which she also published on Twitter.
"History teaches us that aggressive nationalism can easily be misused for nationalistic conflicts and even fuel war. I believe that society is today ready to build its future on cooperation and respect for one another."