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Joint statement of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, and the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen, prior to the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite

Ljubljana, 7. 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, will jointly attend a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Carinthian plebiscite on Saturday, 10 October 2020, in Klagenfurt.

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 will be the first time that the presidents of Slovenia and Austria will jointly commemorate the anniversary of the plebiscite.

"By jointly attending the commemoration, we remember the past that connects out countries. For centuries, the Slovenian-speaking and the German-speaking populations have lived together in Carinthia.

At the plebiscite a century ago, the majority of the Slovenian-speaking population of southern Carinthia decided to become a part of the young Republic of Austria.

Today, we welcome a common Europe, where borders are increasingly less significant. Our common European Union membership has given us the freedom to choose where to live, study and work.

Lifting the internal border controls as a result of the Schengen acquis is contributing to less noticeable borders in everyday life.

In this respect, both presidents welcome and support the efforts to improve the position of the Slovenian national community in Austria and the appropriate provisions of the Austrian Government’s programme in the hope of timely implementation of certain measures planned.

The joint attendance also demonstrates close neighbourly relations between Slovenia and Austria and our good personal relationship, which is based on our desire for joint cooperation in the European spirit," said Slovenian President Pahor and Austrian President Van der Bellen.

President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA