Slovenian, Hungarian leaders discuss their respective ethnic minorities

08:54, September 16, 2010      

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The status of their respective minority communities dominated talks between the presidents of Slovenia and neighboring Hungary on Wednesday, reported the Slovenian news agency STA.

Hungarian President Pal Schmitt, on an official visit to Slovenia, told reporters during a joint news conference in Ljubljana with Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, that the problems faced by Slovenian minority in Hungary "were not unsolvable" and that economics and not discrimination were at the core of recent events.

The Slovenian minority, which numbers approximately 5,000 along the south-western border of Hungary, had recently seen the closure of a Slovenian kindergarten, the removal of a Slovenian-speaking priest from a parish, and the cancellation of a Slovenian-language television program. In addition, a road linking two Slovenian minority villages had yet to be constructed. Schmitt said the question of adequate representation of minorities in the Hungarian parliament had also been raised by the two leaders in their discussions.

Schmitt stressed that a lack of funding was behind many of the minority-related issues, stating, "by no means are they the consequence of either discrimination or indifference." Tuerk said the two presidents had demonstrated their dedication to resolving many of the practical issues raised during their meeting.

With respect to the 8,500 strong Hungarian minority in Slovenia, Tuerk said the government was striving for the development of bilingual communities populated by ethnic Hungarians.

Source: Xinhua


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