Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor received on Friday representatives of Slovenian minority organisations in Austria ahead of the anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite. They assessed the atmosphere in Austria’s Carinthia had improved, but there were still many challenges related to the implementation of bilingualism in practice, Pahor’s office said.
Pahor stressed he would continue to strive for the best possible relations between the two countries and with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen, as more progress can be made in a more favourable climate, including when it comes to the status of minorities.
He pointed to the recent developments in Italy, where the government has adopted a decree providing a legal basis for returning the National Hall in Trieste to the Slovenian minority there.
Pahor said this step was due to the excellent relations between Slovenia and Italy as well as to the concerted effort of minority organisations there, expressing hope that the Slovenian community in Austria would also show a more united front dealing with key challenges in the future.
This was Pahor’s third such meeting in an extended format. The Austrian minority representatives welcomed this and would like to continue the talks this way.
The meeting was held ahead of the anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite, which will be celebrated on 10 October, and one year after the landmark ceremony marking the centenary of the plebiscite, which was attended for the first time by the presidents of both countries, Slovenia and Austria.