A language census is to be held throughout Austria on Sunday (14 November), despite protests from the Yugoslavian Government in Belgrade.
A language census is to be held throughout Austria on Sunday (14 November), despite protests from the Yugoslavian Government in Belgrade. The main purpose of the census is to help the Austrian Government to determine how many Slav speakers live in the southern Carinthia region of the country near the Yugoslav border.
SYNOPSIS: There is considerable official opposition in Yugoslavia to the census, and a demonstration protesting against it was held in the main square of Ljublijana on Thursday (11 November). Despite the miserable weather, the rally was well attended. The census in Austria is likely to provide a focal point for a dispute over minority rights which has been simmering between the two countries for the past four years.
The Carinthia region in Austria has been the home of the Slav communities for 13 centuries. Many have become assimilated, and most speak German at work. But in Slav homes, Slovene is spoken, and local leaders work hard to maintain their ethnic identity. The Yugoslavians want Austria to introduce a package of privileges for minority groups -- including dual language schooling -- without counting the number of people it will involve.