By: Dr Anton Olaj
In Slovenia, we are facing, among other things, the disappearance of the Slovenian language as a result of the immigration of foreigners and their lack of willingness to assimilate in the Slovenian space. Slovenes did not have their statehood for a long time, so the need to place greater emphasis on linguistic and cultural unity is understandable when asserting it.
I do not associate economic migration per se with the risk of denationalisation, but the presented changes to the Aliens Act raise legitimate doubts about the far-fetchedness of the solutions promised in cooperation with globalist and left-wing non-governmental organisations. I understand the authorities’ efforts to remove administrative obstacles, but I do not understand the Ministry of the Interior’s explanation in the press release dated March 14th, 2023, as to how foreigners will be able to avoid meeting the criteria regarding knowledge of the Slovenian language. Evidence of knowledge of Slovenian at level (A1) for family members of foreigners in Slovenia, which was legalised by the previous government, is checked by administrative units. But when there is a reason to refuse the issuance or extension of a temporary residence permit due to family reunification, they must “take into account the nature and strength of the family relationship, the length of his stay in Slovenia, and the existence of family, cultural and social ties with the home country”, which means a large field of discretion officials without effective safeguards against abuse. It is not known whether these protections will later be included in the law.
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia uncritically encourages the economic immigration of foreign labour together with family members, even though, according to the data of the Employment Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, over 54,000 people are registered unemployed in Slovenia at this time. The “tepidity” of the authorities to solve Slovenia’s employment needs mainly with people living here and thereby reduce the influx of foreigners is worrying. The lack of efforts by the government to create attractive employment opportunities for the return of emigrant Slovenians to their homeland is also cause for concern.
The mass migration increase of foreigners negatively changes the demographic structure of the population in detriment of Slovenes. I think it is important to say that already on March 26th, 2019, a consultation on demographic policy in Slovenia was held by the President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, where Prof. Dr Marina Lukšič Hacin answered the dilemma of whether migration is part of solving demographic problems, that “we must first decide whether we want it. If we do, we must take action. If we want them to stay with us, we have to be attractive.” One of the conclusions of the consultation was that it is imperative to prepare an answer to the aging of the population. In doing so, Pahor highlighted the responsibility and accountability of those in charge for creating appropriate policy at the state level as well.
It was therefore very reasonable that the previous government established the Office for Demography, which was supposed to find appropriate solutions, but the current government recklessly abolished it, which in itself shows the implementation of globalist pro-immigration policy within the framework of the controversial “non-binding” Marrakesh agreement with the assistance of many non-governmental organisations, which consequently leads to denationalisation. When such a policy is implemented in Slovenia, there will be fewer and fewer Slovenians, and the Slovenian word will be heard even less often.
If we proceed from publicly known problems regarding foreigners, e.g., in Jesenice or in Velenje, we can conclude that the legal requirement for foreigners to know the Slovene language only at level (A2) when issuing a permanent residence permit is not sufficient, nor is the arrangement that family members of foreigners are allowed in Slovenia when applying for an extension of residence knowledge of the Slovenian language only at entry level (A1). Are we really ready to give up our national identity for the quasi-economic benefits of the economy?
It should be expected that the new president of the country, Nataša Pirc Musar, will also be properly involved in solving the problem and speed up the implementation of solutions resulting from the consultation on demographic policy in Slovenia from 2019. In the field of migration, the adoption of a migration strategy is expected. The working group is chaired by Secretary of State Tina Heferle. It seems imperative that, on this occasion, the declaration of nationality during the population census should also be regulated. However, it is worrisome that representatives of mainly left-wing “globalist” non-governmental organisations will participate in this working group in the complete absence of representatives of patriotic organisations, who were obviously not invited or encouraged to do so.
With all this, it seems unimportant whether the process of denationalisation is the result of the policy of recklessness of the globalist advocates of immigration or just the result of the conformism and decadence of Slovenian politics.
Dr Anton Olaj is a former general director of the police, a former state secretary at the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, a veteran of the war for Slovenia.