Slovenian Jug new alternate member of Carinthia state government
Klagenfurt, 4 April - The Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) has appointed members to the government of the Austrian federal state of Carinthia, keeping most of the same names but naming a new alternate member - Manuel Jug, a member of Slovenian minority. The SPÖ will form a coalition with the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP).
Manuel Jug has led the Association of Slovenian Organisations (ZSO), an umbrella minority association in Carinthia, since 2019 and has advocated for preserving and strengthening the Slovenian language.
The National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS), another minority umbrella in Carinthia, wrote that it is paying close attention to the coalition negotiations on the new regional government and expressed an expectation that Carinthian Slovenians will be included in its programme. According to NSKS, some open questions are financing of bi- and multilingual kindergartens and a bilingual judiciary, Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported.
Carinthia Governor Peter Kaiser (SPÖ) and Martin Gruber (ÖVP) said on Friday that the two parties will continue to work together and will form a coalition for the next five years.
The SPÖ won the regional election with 38.9% votes, which is a significant drop from the 48% it received five years ago. The Freedom Party (FPÖ) came in second with 24.5% of the votes, followed by the ÖVP with 17% and Team Kärnten with 10.1%.
Hermann Srienz (SPÖ), a bilingual mayor of Feistritz ob Bleiburg, has secured a spot in Carinthia's assembly, as has Franc Jožef Smrtnik, a Carinthian Slovenian running for Team Kärnten.