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Minister calls for improved situation of Slovenian minority in Hungary

Budapest, 24 March - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch noted that there were still differences in the level of rights, political representation and financing enjoyed by the Slovenian minority in Hungary compared to the Hungarian community in Slovenia, as she attended a session of a joint commission for minority rights on Wednesday.

Jaklitsch told the session of the Slovenian-Hungarian commission overseeing the implementation of the agreement on special rights of the Hungarian minority in Slovenia and vice versa that the situation of the Slovenian minority in the Hungarian region of Porabje had improved over the last decade.

However, she also pointed to the differences in the level of the provision of the rights of both minorities, the Office for Slovenians Abroad said.

Jaklitsch also "expressed unease" over the statements by Hungarian Secretary of State for National Policy Árpád János Potápi about the Mura river being the border between Slovenia and Hungary and on the implementation of bilingual education.

She said that the statements "do not reflect the true situation and are also controversial in terms of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty that is expected between the two friendly countries," the office quoted Jaklitsch as saying.

It noted that in the 30 years of the agreement, Slovenia and Hungary had implemented many measures to improve the situation of both minorities, and that great progress has been made in recent months, when several important agreements had been signed.

Reviewing the implementation of the agreement, the Slovenian part of the commission noted the need to adopt recommendations that will benefit both minorities and ensure a comparable level of their rights.

It also noted the need to provide appropriate education in Slovenian, expand the use of Slovenian and ensure "visible bilingualism" in Porabje, comparable to that provided for the Hungarian minority in Prekmurje.

The Slovenian delegation also called for greater financial support for Radio Monošter and investments benefiting the Slovenian community in Porabje, the office said.

The Hungarian delegation was headed by Ferenc Kalmar, the ministerial commissioner for neighbourhood policy of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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© STA, 2022