Minority org: Dialogue should be held with new Italian govt

Trieste, 27 September - The Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO), an umbrella organisation of the Slovenian minority in Italy, expects the community's situation to worsen after the right won Italy's general election on Sunday. SSO head Walter Bandelj told the STA that dialogue should be held with the new Italian government.

Bandelj believes that the situation will now become more difficult for the minority. Efforts should be made to prevent any change for the worse, for example in education.

"I think we will have a lot of work, not only the community, but us together with Slovenia," he said.

The head of one of the two umbrella minority organisations warned that a lot would depend on how the minority will behave in relation to the new government, whether it will keep at a distance and only be critical from afar or talk to the authorities about what needs to be done.

He also thinks it is important that the Slovenian government and diplomacy hold talks with the incoming Italian government. "Every meeting is very important for the Slovenian community."

Bandelj congratulated Tatjana Rojc on her re-election to the Italian Senate on the slate of the centre-left Democratic Party. "This is a great achievement," he said.

But he warned that Slovenians do not have a guaranteed political representation in Italy's parliament. "So we have to work with the Slovenian diplomacy to ensure that representation is guaranteed, so that the minority has a guaranteed seat in the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate."

Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy, a party with neo-fascist roots, won the most votes in the recent election, and Meloni is set to become Italy's first female prime minister.

The other umbrella organisation of the minority, the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ), expressed concerns on Monday about the election result, especially because Brothers of Italy have made significant gains.

It warned that the party had always been systematically against the autochthonous Slovenian minority and had seen minority rights as "an unnecessary privilege".

Senator Rojc also cautioned on Monday that Meloni's win was a major step back for the minority.

© STA, 2022