Spindelegger: “Carinthia on the verge of a new era”
Vienna, 27 April 2011 – “The place-name sign agreement paves Carinthia’s way into a new era in which future opportunities may be jointly exploited,” stated a pleased Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, welcoming the resolution of the place-name sign issue. “With this agreement, Austria has finished its long overdue homework. As early as 2006, the then Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel presented a far-reaching draft solution. I am therefore really pleased that this success has been achieved on the basis of his preparatory work and negotiations,” continued Spindelegger, adding that as Vice-Chancellor and designated head of the People’s Party he would undertake all efforts to obtain swift and broad consent in Parliament.
“My special thanks go to State Secretary Ostermayer, Governor Dörfler and those negotiating on the side of Carinthia’s Slovenes, namely Valentin Inzko, Bernhard Sadovnik and Marjan Sturm, but also to the parties represented in the Carinthian provincial parliament. For months they have endeavoured to find a solution to the controversial issue, proved their endurance in a number of difficult negotiation rounds and finally managed to achieve an amicable resolution,” emphasised Spindelegger.
Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger also stressed that it was particularly gratifying that consensus had been achieved not only with respect to the detailed list of those places which have or will have bilingual place-name signs but also with regard to an agreement on official languages and Slovene educational and cultural facilities. “Only a language that is spoken can be a language of the future, and this has apparently been assured. It seems that with yesterday’s agreement, the enactment of the respective constitutional provisions, the installation of the signs and the implementation of additional agreed measures an issue which has caused conflict and misunderstanding for decades will soon be resolved once and for all;” concluded the Vice-Chancellor.
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