Slovenian President stressed cooperation with the Austrian province of Carinthia –

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, wants to maintain good relations with Austria. The Slovenian minority in Carinthia plays an important role in the bilateral relations between the two republics, Slovenia and Austria. Therefore, Slovenian President Pahor and Carinthian Governor Kaiser (SPÖ) held bilateral talks and focused on important issues for the Slovenian minority in Carinthia.

Commemoration of the Peršman massacre

President Pahor and Carinthian Governor Kaiser jointly visited the Peršman Museum, which was built in memory of the 11 Carinthian Slovenes who were shot by members of the SS and the police regiment in April 1945. Peršman’s Farm was an important stronghold of the partisan movement during the war. The President of the Republic of Slovenia and the Governor of Carinthia laid a wreath at the monument in the Peršman Museum.

This visit intends to underline the importance of cross-border cooperation, said the governor of Carinthia. “I am happy to welcome my friend and Slovenian President Borut Pahor here in a very historic place on Carinthian soil. It is a great honor for Carinthia as well as for the Republic of Austria and a very good proof of the relationship constantly improving between the two ethnic groups in our country.”

In the presence of the only survivor, Amalia Sadovnik, Pahor evokes a drama in a then hostile environment: “Today, I come as a friend. In the spirit of friendship on a border that is no longer one, I am convinced that together all outstanding issues can be resolved.”

Pahor confirmed the good understanding of the two ethnic groups in Carinthia. “We can be happy to live in a peaceful Europe, friendship and peace are very important,” he said given the current crises.

Visit to representatives of Slovenian communities in Carinthia

President Pahor participated in a meeting of mayors and municipal representatives in Luže at the invitation of the mayors of the border municipalities Globasnica, Železna Kapla and Črna na Koroškem.

The meeting aims to support cross-border cooperation between municipalities on both sides of the border, as Luže is a popular excursion point connecting Slovenia and Austria.

The three municipalities are connected in the Geopark Karawanken and wish to deepen their cooperation. Thus, a joint cross-border hike from the Luschaalm is organized every year.

Bilateral talks between the Slovenian President and the Governor of Carinthia

The President and the Governor of Carinthia also discussed the current proposal for bilingual justice reform, as proposed by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Austria and agreed between the Association of Slovenian Lawyers in Carinthia and the main associations of Slovenes in Carinthia. In this sense, the Federal President expressed the hope that the province of Carinthia would not hinder the adoption of this reform and thus the realization of the rights of the Slovenian minority.

Kaiser referred to the topics that had been discussed. Thus, they talked about the current crises and the associated inflation. Also, on Slovene-speaking district courts. “There is a unanimous decision from all parties represented in the provincial parliament that this service for the Slovenian ethnic group will be maintained,” the provincial governor said.

Kaiser also handed over the fifth report on the Slovene ethnic group in Carinthia to the state president.

In addition, the interlocutors agreed that the two countries cooperate perfectly in many areas. They spoke of the many potentials for regional cooperation and common challenges for the European Union. In the conversation, the Slovenian President underlined the messages of coexistence between the two nations and neighboring countries in the common European home. At the same time, Slovenian President Pahor recalled the joint commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthia Referendum, with which the two nations laid new foundations for future cooperation in 2020. In a statement to the media, the President said that he wished that all problems would be solved in this spirit.

Slovenian language studies

During a conversation with Governor Kaiser, President Pahor expressed concern about the decision to cancel the possibility of studying Slovenian studies at the master’s level at the University of Klagenfurt – Pahor demanded to find a solution for this study as soon as possible again possible.

The fact that the Slavic Studies course at Alpen Adria University is taking place for the last time this year is due to too few students enrolling, Governor Kaiser said. However, it has been decided that there will be cooperation between the universities of Carinthia, Graz and Ljubljana. Kaiser added that elementary education will also be discussed in cooperation with the three Slovenian organizations in Carinthia. Also, including bilingual preschool in a 15a treaty agreement is a big step forward, Kaiser said.

President of the Republic of Slovenia

Carinthia State Government

Joan J. Holland