The Slovenia Times

Austria distances itself from hateful post

Klagenfurt, Austria
Bilingual place signs in Carinthia.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Austrian Ambassador Elisabeth Ellison-Kramer has strongly distanced herself on behalf of Austria from the anti-Slovenian message posted to Instagram by the Carinthian chapter of the Austrian Freedom Party's (FPÖ) youth wing, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said after the ambassador for a meeting over the matter.

In the post, which they have since taken down from their Instagram profile, the FPÖ Carinthia youth called on voters to remove the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) from power in the upcoming provincial election and thus stop the province's "Slovenisation".

The message upset the Slovenian minority in Austria's southern province. One of its organisations expressed regret that the FPÖ and its Carinthia youth organisation were trying to "incite hatred against our language and our culture, which has always been part of Carinthia's identity".

The post has met with wide condemnation in Slovenia and the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs sent a verbal note to the Austrian Ministry for European and International Affairs through the Slovenian Embassy in Vienna to express its concern.

Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon discussed the post with Carinthia Governor Peter Kaiser on 10 February and they both condemned it. Kaiser pledged to do everything possible to ensure successful coexistence of the German- and Slovenian-speaking communities.

"The regional governor and president of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) in Carinthia and I agreed today that the rhetoric of the FPÖ towards the Slovenian community in the Austrian province of Carinthia is unacceptable," Fajon wrote on Twitter.

Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar called the post unacceptable and emphasized that ethnic minority rights are human rights, which every country must consistently respect. "Like Slovenia, Austria is signatory to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities," the president wrote on her Twitter profile.

She thanked the Carinthia governor for his sincere call for the protection of the Slovenian minority and for the minority and majority communities to live in harmony.

FPÖ Carinthia head Erwin Angerer sought to downplay the post by saying it had not been directed against the Slovenian minority but against the SPÖ. He told the youth wing he wanted to be informed in advance of their future publications.


More from Politics