Waldner: Autonomy of South Tyrol needs to be respected also in times of crisis
Austrian State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner on working visit in South Tyrol
Vienna/Bolzano-Bozen, 14 March 2012 – “South Tyrol’s autonomy is a valuable good that must not be curtailed in times of crisis. Italy’s efforts to achieve economic consolidation must not lead to a violation of the autonomous status. We take the concerns South Tyrol has in this respect very seriously”, said Austrian State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner. Waldner was on a working visit in Bolzano-Bozen today and met with the Governor of South Tyrol, Luis Durnwalder, Vice Chairwoman of the South Tyrol Christian Democrats Martha Stocker and President of the South Tyrol Parliament Mauro.
Dual citizenship was another topic on the agenda that was openly discussed. “We understand that this issue is of high emotional importance for many South Tyroleans, even if the practical added value would be small. Being EU citizens, South Tyroleans enjoy all the rights this entails in Austria and are therefore mostly equal to Austrians”, the State Secretary underlined. At the same time, Waldner further pointed out that dual citizenship would also be linked to a series of significant, legal and practical difficulties for South Tyroleans in Austria and would imply a fundamental systemic change to the Austrian citizenship law.
In the course of his deliberations, the State Secretary was able to note tangible progress in the context of handling the relics of fascism. “The establishment of a Documentation Centre below the Victory Monument is an important step towards converting this monument into a memorial. I hope that it will soon be possible to find a solution for the Mussolini frieze on the financial authority building too”, Walder said.
Other topics discussed were the Brenner Tunnel, the Euroregion Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino and the European Alpine Strategy. “After the Danube Region has taken off so successfully, an Alpine Strategy would suggest itself as a next field of action in the EU for an even closer cooperation between Austria and its neighbours. We are still in the infancy phase with this project, but I see great potential for cooperation at the European level in terms of transport, environmental protection, tourism or support for mountain farmers,” Waldner concluded.
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