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Minister Dr Žekš is pleased with the outcome of negotiations in Austrian Carinthia

At the Office for Slovenians Abroad, we welcome the agreement reached yesterday between representatives of the three umbrella organisations of the Carinthian Slovenians and representatives of the Carinthian and Austrian authorities on bilingual signposts and the package of measures for the improvement of the situation and the activities of the Slovenian minority in Carinthia.  


“This agreement is a compromise between the wishes of both sides, and like any good compromise, it does not please either side. Thus, we are also not fully satisfied with the agreement,” stated Minister Žekš upon the conclusion of the meeting yesterday. “However, we are sure,” he continued, “that this partial solution will significantly contribute to improving the situation of the Slovenian minority in Austria and to improving the climate, which will enable the resolution of other problems and the implementation of the remaining obligations of the Austrian State Treaty. We find it somewhat unusual that the achieved agreement is to be monitored in the field (by research) in Carinthia, but we are certain that this will not impede the concluded agreement, because we believe that the majority of the population in Carinthia, regardless of their nationality, want a solution.”


“It should be pointed out that this agreement came about mainly because of the uniform approach of all three umbrella organisations of the Carinthian Slovenians, which, in spite of all their differences, managed to harmonise their views on key problems and entered into the negotiations uniformly,” said the Minister. He also stressed that all three umbrella organisations have earned this agreement: “That is, those who have contributed to improving mutual relations by consulting with the German-speaking population and by joint actions in the past, as well as those who have – by means of clear demands and legal procedures – energetically stressed the non-compliance of Article 7 of the Austrian State Treaty.”