Arčon discusses business projects with minority in Hungary

Felsőszölnök, 5 June - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon visited the Slovenian ethnic minority in Hungary on Wednesday to get briefed on business projects that have already been carried out or are being planned as part of financial incentives to develop the Raba Valley region, Porabje in Slovenian.

Arčon visited two projects that the Slovenian government financed as part of a programme to provide business incentives for the minority in Hungary in 2021-2024.

One is the farm Labritz, its meat-processing facility and a shop, and the other is the House of Apples and a location for its upgrade.

Minority members also outlined to Arčon a project to fully renovate the only Slovenian mill in Porabje, the Filo mill, and plans to build a centre for post-school activities at the Slovenian Model Farm.

In Apatistvanfalva, or Števanovci, the minister learnt about a project to renovate the only Slovenian plant making spirits, and a pumpkin oil facility.

The Office for Slovenians Abroad said the minority intends to apply for funds for these projects from a Slovenian-Hungarian fund that was founded on the basis of a bilateral agreement on cooperation in economic and social development of the ethnically mixed area on both sides of the Slovenian-Hungarian border.

Arčon started his working visit in Felsoszolnok (Gornji Senik), where he stopped at the minority's self-government institution and at the Slovenian cultural and information centre Lipa (Linden Tree).

He discussed the situation in which the minority lives in Hungary with its officials and representatives, Andreja Kovacs, Karl Holecz and Erika Koleš Kiss.

Arčon said he was happy to revisit Porabje, praising the ethnic minority, the smallest of the four, as "very efficient and connected", saying it "can serve as a role model to the other ones".

He announced that the programmes to promote economic development in Porabje would serve as a pilot project for the development of similar programmes for the other three Slovenian minorities, in Austria, Croatia and Italy.

Arčon will conclude his visit with a speech at a reception to be held by the Consulate General in Szentgotthard (Monošter) on the occasion of Slovenia's Statehood Day, observed on 25 June.

© STA, 2024