Pahor decorates minority representatives, journalists
The medals for services were handed to the head of the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO) Drago Štoka, businessman and journalist Marjan Terpin, Italy-based correspondent Mirjam Muženič and Austria-based correspondent Lojze Kos.
Also decorated were journalist, publicist and historian Giorgio Banchig, former dean of the Graz Faculty of Law Gerno Kocher and linguist Karl Gadanyi.
According to the president's office, Banchig was honoured for his "dedicated work for preserving the Slovenian language, culture and identity".
Gadanyi was meanwhile decorated for "successfully introducing Slovenian language studies into the Hungarian higher education system and supporting Slovenians in Hungary in preserving their mother tongue and culture".
Kocher received the recognition for his contribution in strengthening the cooperation between Slovenian and Austrian experts in humanities and law.
Kos, the long-time correspondent of RTV Slovenija from Klagenfurt, was recognised by the president for his "contribution to better understanding of the issues of the Slovenian minority in Austria".
The journalist said in his address that the Slovenian media paid too little attention to minor events across the border, and too much to global events. He added that this was also a recognition to the public broadcaster.
Mirjam Muženič, who reports from parts of Italy populated by the Slovenian minority for RTV Slovenija, was decorated for roughly the same contribution as Kos. She said in her address that she understood the medal for services as "attention from the home country".
Štoka, the head of one of the two organisations of the Slovenian minority in Italy, was recognised for his "relentless work for the benefit of the Slovenian minority in Italy and for boosting their national and linguistic consciousness."
Štoka pointed to the values "without which our nation would find it hard to survive", including loyalty to the language, roots and tradition.
Terpin received the decoration for his contribution to the "promotion of the equal position of the Slovenian minority in Italy and consolidation of a single Slovenian cultural space".