torek, februar 22, 2005

Problems brewing with Austria

The Foreign Ministry has been busy not only with the controversy over the Italian film, but also with a controversy over recent statements by the speaker of the Austrian Parliament, Andreas Khol. Though Khol does not dispute Slovenia’s right to speak out in support of ethnic Slovenes living in Austria, he said that Slovenia cannot do so on the basis of the Austrian State Treaty since it is not a signatory of that document.

The Slovene Foreign Ministry quickly protested to the Austrian government, insisting that Slovenia is a party to the Austrian State Treaty insofar as it is a successor state to the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, which was a signatory to the treaty. Similar protests were lodged by representatives of the Slovene minority in Austria as well as the Austrian Green and Socialist parties [SN / 07.02.05 / Austrian Official Causes Stir with Statements About Austrian State Treaty].

Foreign Minister responds to Italian film

Slovene Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel has issued a statement on the recent Italian film Il cuore nel pozzo (Heart in a Pit) in which he downplays the controversy. "I do not think it is good that emotions are being stirred in an imprudent manner about things that happened years ago," he stated, adding that relations between Slovenia and Italy cannot be based on a film [SN / 10.02.05 / Italian Film About Partisan Atrocities Strains Bilateral Relations].

Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti also commented: "A good film about what happened during and after WWII could be made in Slovenia as well, and this would neutralize to some extent what is happening now."