Katalin Novak - Photo: Facebook

President meets ethnic Hungarians in Slovenia’s Prekmurje region

President Katalin Novak met members of the ethnic Hungarian community of Slovenia's Prekmurje (Muravidek) region at the Dobrovnik (Dobronak) cultural centre on Tuesday.

Novak took part in a moderated discussion with Slovenian counterpart Natasa Pirc Musar, covering topics such as the situation of minorities and the United Nations recent COP28 climate summit she attended and addressed.

She said that as Hungary’s president she considered it a responsibility to represent all Hungarians, including ethnic kin beyond the borders and members of the diaspora. She welcomed that ethnic Hungarians in Prekmurje were living in harmony with the majority population.

The president said Hungarian companies and economic players in Slovenia enjoyed support, adding that Hungarians in the country were seen as assets that contributed to the economy rather than as enemies. She noted that ethnic Hungarians in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region, however, faced the threats of the ongoing war and had to fight for their minority rights and Hungarian identity.

As regards the COP28 summit, Novak said she had spoken about how the family was not the problem, but the solution to climate change. She said discouraging young people from having families was seen by many as a means of fighting climate change, adding that they should instead be encouraged to have children.

Pirc Musar said Slovenia and Hungary could both serve as role models in the handling of minority issues. She said she kept up with the lives of Slovenes living beyond the border and was always told by Slovenes in Hungary they had few problems.

Prior to their discussion, the two heads of state inspected the renovated areas of the bilingual secondary school in Lendava (Lendva) and visited the Early Intervention Centre in Radmozanci (Radamos).

Hungarian kindergartens in Prekmurje received 316 million forints (EUR 832,000) in support from the Hungarian government as part of a Carpathian Basin kindergarten development scheme.

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