Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor received on Friday the ethnic Slovenians who serve as representatives in the national parliaments of the four countries neighbouring Slovenia. On the occasion, Pahor was acquainted with the situation of the Slovenian minority in each of these countries.
It was actually the first meeting ever of members of the Slovenian ethnic minorities who serve as representatives in the national parliaments in Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia.
Pahor hosted Tatjana Rojc, a senator in the upper house of the Italian parliament, Olga Voglauer, an MP in the Austrian parliament, Barbara Antolić Vupora of the Croatian parliament and Erika Köleš Kiss, an advocate of Slovenians from Porabje in the Hungarian parliament.
The meeting was held after Minister for Slovenians Abroad presented the four with certificates of appreciation for their contribution to efforts to exercise minority rights at a ceremony in Podrožnik Villa in Ljubljana.
At the meeting with the president, the MPs told Pahor that the situation of the Slovenian minorities in the neighbouring countries had improved significantly in recent years.
Important events were noted, such as the return of the Trieste National Hall to the Slovenian minority in Italy in the presence of Pahor and his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella and the ceremony on the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite, attended by Pahor and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen.
They also noted the joint celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Union of Slovenians in Hungary, attended by Pahor and Hungarian President Janos Ader, and the unveiling of monuments to France Prešeren in Zagreb and of Ljudevit Gaj in Ljubljana on the same day in the presence of Pahor and Croatian President Zoran Milanović.
Pahor said at the reception Slovenia had never had such good relations with all four neighbouring countries at the same time in the nation’s 30-year history.
He added that this seemed to be particularly important given the current security situation, as good international relations begin with relations with neighbours, and the president intends to continue to pursue this direction.