Minister Jaklitsch meets minority reps from Italy
Ljubljana, 2 February - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch met the representatives of two umbrella organisations of the Slovenian minority in Italy on Wednesday to discuss current issues of the Slovenian community in Italy, with all participants agreeing on the need for financial support.
The meeting in Ljubljana was attended by Ksenija Dobrila of the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Union (SKGZ) and Walter Bandelj of the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO), along with representatives of several Slovenian institutions.
All participants agreed that Slovenians in Italy need adequate financial support for businesses. In this context, they highlighted the good example of such financial programmes in the Hungarian border region of Porabje, populated by the Slovenian ethnic minority.
They believe that a similar programme and possibly a mutual financial fund between Slovenia and Italy could enable the development of culture, tourism, agriculture and small business, and perhaps convince younger people to stay in the region.
It was also pointed out that the Slovenian minority in Italy is participating successfully in cross-border European programmes, being the only Slovenian minority to participate multiple times in this type of multi-million strategic programme.
Turning to the situation of Slovenian schools in Italy, the participants of the meeting agreed that they needed adequate protection and preferential treatment in order to function properly, which can be achieved with adequate autonomy.
In addition to Minister Jaklitsch, today's meeting with the representatives of the Slovenian minority in Italy was attended by several representatives of the economy and education ministries, and the Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy.