Slovenian community in Austria marks 30 years of Slovenia's independence

Klagenfurt, 30 June - Several events were held in Klagenfurt, Austria, on Wednesday to mark Slovenia's 30th independence anniversary. Participants of a round table debate presented their recollection of events from 30 years ago, including on the Slovenian-Austrian border.

The prime minister of Slovenia's first government, Lojze Peterle, stressed the importance of long-term good preparations for the independence, from the late 1860s to 1917, the war and post-war efforts, and the crucial moment in 1991, the Christian Cultural Association (KKZ) said in a press release.

Peterle also stressed the importance of good connections with Austrian provinces and municipalities, and around Europe. He said the recognition of Slovenia's independence by other countries and good relations with neighbouring countries had been crucial.

Raimund Grilc, who was mayor of Bleiburg 30 years ago, presented the situation in the border town during the independence era.

The debate, hosted by several Slovenian minority organisations and the Slovenian consulate general in Klagenfurt, also featured the first member of the Slovenian community in Carinthia who was elected to the Austrian parliament, Karel Smolle, and the head of the sector for Slovenian minorities at the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad Rudi Merljak.

Nanti Olip of the National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS) congratulated Slovenia on its anniversary and the consul general, Anton Novak, pointed to the progress Slovenia has made since independence to its EU presidency.

An exhibition of photographs showing the 10-day independence war in Slovenia also opened in Klagenfurt today.

© STA, 2021