Slovenia calls on Austrian governement to save Radio Dva

26-07-2003

Slovenia has made repeated warnings to the Austrian government against allowing the closure of Radio Dva. But just why is Slovenia so concerned about what after all is an Austrian radio station? Natasha Prah, counceller of the Slovene minister for Foreign affairs, gives their response.

"Ensuring media coverage to the national minority in their own language is certainly of key importance for the development and cooperation with the "parent" nation. I think that the degree of protection of the Slovene minority in Austria is on such a level that we cannot compromise and agree any reduction of the rights."

According to some sources the Austrian government is not prepared to give financial support to Radio 2 - what will you and the Slovene government do in this case.

"The question of the Slovene radio programmes has been exposed on the highest level of representatives of both states, that is by Slovene PM Anton Rop and chancellor Schuessel. The first time they talked about this issue was in February 2003 and the second time on a official meeting in may in Vienna. The federal chancellor confirmed, that through a parliamentary procedure he will try to help, so that ORF will be able to finance both radio stations. This year, Slovenia has contributed 16,5 mio tolars for the broadcasting of this radio programme, but this, of course, is only a minor part of the funds that SLO will assign to its minory in Austria."