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The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, jointly attend the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite

Klagenfurt, 10. 10. 2020 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, jointly attended a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite in Klagenfurt.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, jointly attend the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The decision to jointly attend the commemoration was made during the official visit of President Pahor to Vienna in June 2019 and during talks with the representatives of the Slovenian national community in Austria and the Governor of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser.

This was the first time that the presidents of Slovenia and Austria jointly commemorated the anniversary of the plebiscite.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, began his official visit to Austria in front of the Provincial Assembly of the federal state of Carinthia in Klagenfurt, where he was received with military honours by the host, the President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, jointly attend the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

The two presidents then jointly attended the ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite, thus confirming the friendship between the two neighbouring countries. They were both keynote speakers at the ceremony.

President Pahor and President Van der Bellen then visited the touring exhibition CARINTHIja 2020, which encourages dialogue with visitors in a modern and innovative way, taking them on a time journey through 100 years of history. The exhibition is not only a memory of the past, but also conveys the messages of the present day and offers opportunities for dialogue with the future.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, jointly attend the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

This year, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the plebiscite, many events have been planned and organised in the spirit of cooperation and coexistence, and the two presidents thanked the organisers for their work. They met the members of the "Gemeinsam 2020 skupno" project group and attended the unveiling of a light sculpture by Tomas Hoke, the winner of the Grenzenlos-Brezmejno competition.

President Pahor concluded his visit by attending, together with President Van der Bellen, the opening of the bilingual kindergarten Hermagoras – Mohorjev vrtec, which operates in the Slomšek House. Learning the Slovenian language is essential for the preservation and development of the Slovenian minority. In the new premises, the Mohor Society established the first bilingual day nursery in Klagenfurt and arranged new premises for Slomškov dom, a residence hall for upper secondary students.

During his visit to Austria, President Pahor was accompanied by the Minister for Slovenians Abroad, Helena Jaklitsch.

President Van der Bellen was accompanied by the Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport, Werner Kogler, the Minister of Women and Integration, Susanne Raab, and the Minister of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Elisabeth Köstinger.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, jointly attend the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA