Ljubo Sirc, Slovene economist, Died at 96

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Ljubo Sirc was born on April 19, 1920, in Kranj and died on December 1, 2016.

He was a British-Slovene economist and prominent dissident from the former Yugoslavia.

Sirc came from a wealthy and renowned family of Slovene and Yugoslav patriots.

Sirc grandfather was a liberal and monarchist politician and mayor of Kranj, and his father was a local entrepreneur.

Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, Sirc managed to escape to Switzerland, where he established contact with other Yugoslav emigrants.

During the summer of 1944, after the Tito-Šubašić agreement, he joined the Yugoslav Resistance and served in the Yugoslav Army in Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slovenia until 1945.

Following the establishment of the Communist regime, he joined other liberals and social democrats, who tried to form a legal political opposition to the regime.

During 1947, due to his political activity and friendship with Western diplomats, he was tried in the Nagode Trial and sentenced to death.

Sirc’s sentence was ultimately commuted to twenty years in prison, of which he served seven, much of it in solitary confinement.

Sirc spent his time in assiduous reading; he became an expert in Marxist political and economic thought, and he was also able to read the most up-to-date Western, especially English and American, economic literature, provided to him by the Slovenian communists in order to translate it for “internal security purposes.”

Following his release, he escaped to Italy with the help of former TIGR member Stanislav Kamenšček.

From there, Sirc moved to the United Kingdom, where he started an academic career.

During his various teaching posts since then, including twenty years at the University of Glasgow, Sirc was a leading expert on socialist economics and communist regimes.

Sirc was one of the founders of the Centre for Research into Communist Economies (CRCE) in London and headed it. For many years, he lectured on political economy at Glasgow University.

During 1962, he was among the co-founders of the opposition platform Democratic Alternative, together with a group of Serb, Croat, and Bosniak pro-Yugoslav emigrants.

Ljubo Sirc passed away at 96 years old.

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