Two Italian senators visit Italian community in Slovenia
Koper, 29 August - Italian senators Debora Serracchiani and Tatjana Rojc, both members of the Democratic Party (PD), met representatives of the Italian community in Slovenia on Monday. The minority's representatives said they would like Italy to support their efforts for their constitutional rights. The officials agreed minorities should have MP seats guaranteed.
Rojc, who is a member of the Slovenian minority in Italy, and Serracchiani, vice-president of the PD, will stand for re-election at the 25 October election and today's visit was a part of their election campaign.
If they are re-elected, which is very likely, the Slovenian community will continue to have a representative in Rome in Rojc, but not due to legal obligations.
Maurizio Tremul, long-serving head of the Italian minority's umbrella organisation in Slovenia - the Italian Union, said the minority representatives had told the senators they would like to see Italy continue to view the Italian community in Slovenia and Croatia as a single community and the Italian Union as its only representative.
The minority expects additional support from Italy, not just financial but also political, in its efforts for the rights that are envisaged in laws and the constitution.
Tremul said representatives of the Italian community in Istria had expressed the desire for continuous cooperation with the Slovenian community in Italy in EU projects. They also endorsed efforts for the Slovenian community to have a guaranteed representative in the Italian parliament.
Serrachiani said that recognising ethnic minorities was essential. "The Democratic Party has picked a side. We've put Tatjana Rojc on top of our election list for the Senate precisely because we believe that the actual representation of the minority community in parliament is required."
Rojc stressed that she found the rights of the Italian minority in Slovenia as important as the rights of the Slovenian minority in Italy. She said she felt special responsibility, as she was the first ethnic Slovenian topping the PD list.
She expressed hope that the election will show that "Italian voters are still bound to democracy after all". Otherwise, a question will arise whether Italy will also become one of Viktor Orban's satellites or be one of the friendly countries in Europe.
After the meeting in Koper, Serracchiani and Rojc visited the recently renovated Gravisi-Buttorai palace and the Istria Youth Creative Incubator in Lucija before crossing the border to Croatia's Umag, where they met with the representatives of the Italian community in Croatia.