Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 4 April 2004

Slovenia and its 'erased' ethnic minorities

This is really something of a query as I have no idea about the underlying merits of what is being voted on today in Slovenia.

Slovenes are voting today on whether to adopt a law restoring residency rights to thousands of people erased from the national register after independence. It seems that when Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1992 ethnic Slovenes were granted automatic citizenship, whereas those who were not ethnic Slovenes (such as minority Croats, Serbs and Bosnians) were required to apply for citizenship.

Now comes the 'killer' bit: Those who had not done so within a year were removed from the national register without any public announcement. Thus depriving them of pensions and health benefits and losing many their jobs. About 18,000 people were affected.

Slovenia is due to become a member of the European Union on 1st May 2004, so I would be most curious to know what is the attitude of the EU (and the UK, as an EU member) to this vote and to its ramifications for the human rights of those affected.

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