The European Free Alliance (EFA) fully and unconditionally supports the efforts of its member party Enotna Lista-Einheitsliste to enshrine the rights of the Slovenian ethnic group in the Austrian state of Carinthia/Kaernten/Koroska into the new federal State Constitution, currently under discussion.
The initial proposal of the ruling coalition stipulates that only German is the official language of Carinthia in a direct parallel to the 1942 Nazi doctrine "the Carinthians speak German". Furthermore, it is very alarming that the proposal takes away from the municipalities the competencies related to equal use of the German and Slovenian languages in bilingual communities.
Hundreds of citizens took the streets of Klagenfurt/Celovec yesterday to demonstrate against these provisions and demand fair treatment for the Slovenian people and language.
EFA calls upon the Carinthian government and all relevant state institutions of Austria to ensure the bilingual and multinational character of the region and continue the reform that started in 2011 with the agreement on the bilingual place names in good faith and with a true European spirit.