Is Austria dragging its feet on reopening Slovenia border?

Slovenes in Austria’s Carinthia region, united in the Slovenian Consensus for Constitutional Rights (SKUP) initiative, demand that Austria opens its border with Slovenia, writes the leading newspaper Delo.

Austria has already announced the reopening of borders with Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Delo has said, adding that there is no official announcement yet for Slovenia, while Austrian media say this is expected to happen on 15 June.

“If the number of infections in Slovenia is much lower than in all other countries bordering Austria, and also lower than in Austria itself, then there is no real justification for closing the border,” warned lawyer Rudi Vouk, a longtime fighter for the rights of the Slovenian minority in Austria.

Vouk is convinced this is motivated by Austria’s wish for its citizens to spend as many weekends and holidays as possible in their own country.

Slovenian Ambassador to Vienna Ksenija Škrilec told Austria’s Kleine Zeitung in an interview that the “asymmetrical normalisation of borders is essentially influenced by the interests of the Austrian tourism industry.”

The ambassador also said that Austria is by far the largest investor in Slovenia, while Slovenes buy the most Austrian goods per capita in the world. (Zoran Radosavljević |

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