četrtek, december 16, 2004

Minority report suppressed for supporting rights for former Yugoslavs?

The latest update of Transitions On Line includes a report by Borut Mekina about a new report on minorities in Slovenia that is causing a controversy. Even though the government commissioned the report from the Institute for Ethnic Studies, it is suppressing the final product. The report was completed last year, but only now has the public become aware of its existence; the government declared the text a state secret.

The report deals with the situation of the country's three official national minorities: the Hungarians, Italians and Roma. But it also explores the status of the nearly 200,000 people in Slovenia who belong to former Yugoslav nationalities, such as the Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. These people, though far greater in number than the three official minorities, have no special rights in Slovenia.

TOL suggests that the Institute for Ethnic Studies report was classified because it recommends that the former Yugoslav groups be granted national minority status, and all the benefits that would entail [TOL / 15.12.04 / Slovenia: National Minorities as State Secrets].

In September, the Serbian Ministry of the Disapora formally requested that the Slovene government name Serbs as an official national minority. Meanwhile, an umbrella organization of more than 60 associations representing former Yugoslav nationalities, the Coordinating Union of Cultural Societies of the Constituative Nations and Nationalities of the Former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia in the Republic of Slovenia, led by Dr. Ilija Dimitrievski, continues to push for recognition for all former Yugoslav groups [SB / 15.11.04 / Serbs to become official minority?].