Slovenian capital to rename road after Tito

26th April 2009, Comments 1 comment

"We should not avoid historic figures or naming streets after them," read the controversial proposal that calls for the eastern access road to Ljubljana to be renamed "Titova cesta."

Ljubljana -- The city council of the Slovenian capital has decided to rename a road after the late Yugoslav communist leader Josef Broz Tito, some 18 years after Slovenia's independence and the break-up of Yugoslavia.

"We should not avoid historic figures or naming streets after them," read the controversial proposal that calls for the eastern access road to Ljubljana to be renamed "Titova cesta."

Centre-right parties had petitioned against the move voted on late Monday.

The renaming would cause "more pain to the relatives of people killed by the communist regime," said the centre-right opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), which did not take part in Monday's vote.

Tito led the Yugoslav communist struggle against the German occupation during World War II and was appointed president of the six-republic federation after the war, ruling until his death in 1980.

But many blame him for the mass murder in 1945 of thousands of soldiers that collaborated with the German occupation army during the war.

Ljubljana's centre-left Mayor Zoran Jankovic rejected the criticism saying: "Tito was a great leader that made it possible for our state to exist."

A recent poll also showed that 59 percent of Ljubljana's residents backed the idea of naming a street after him.

Ljubljana already had a main street named after Tito until 1991, but this was changed to Slovenska cesta (Slovenian street) after the country's independence from Yugoslavia.

In another Balkan country, Croatia, about 1,000 people protested in the capital Zagreb in December, demanding that a major square be stripped of Marshal Tito's name.

However, in Serbia, a current Belgrade exhibition of odd gifts given to Tito is proving a nostalgic hit among young and old alike almost 30 years after his death.

In the former Yugoslav federation, it was common to name streets, squares and even cities after Tito. The Slovenian town of Titovo Velenje has since been renamed Velenje.

AFP/Expatica

1 Comment To This Article

  • NiM posted:

    on 30th April 2009, 18:22:50 - Reply

    I find it horrible that people can be so ignorant and even glorifying these criminals responsible for murders of thousands of people. It seems that alot of people in slovenia are still influenced by the propaganda and indoctrination of the previous 40-50 years. Tito is romanticized in the same was as Che guevara or Lenin are romanticized elsewhere, yet we all know that they are nothing but cold blooded murderers.