SZSZ: State Support for Slovaks Living Abroad Woefully Low

(Stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, December 10 (TASR) – The amount of money provided by the Government for Slovaks living abroad is too low – compared both to other countries of the Visegrad Four bloc (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) and also to the economic contribution of Slovaks coming from abroad to the country’s economy, concurred the participants of a programme conference hosted by the World Association of Slovaks Living Abroad (SZSZ) in Bratislava on Saturday, as reported by SZSZ chairman Vladimir Skalsky on Sunday.

“Slovaks living abroad described the current times as critical, as many Slovak people are leaving abroad to create new young communities in western Europe and overseas, while Slovaks from traditional communities, such as in Serbia, Romania and Ukraine have been moving en masse to Slovakia,” said Skalsky.

The conference participants expressed clear support for the creation of a strategic Centre of Slovaks Abroad, which should be set up in Bratislava to provide on a permanent basis cultural representation for Slovaks living abroad.

SZSZ also appreciated the fact that preparations for a new non-mandatory secondary-school subject ‘Slovaks in the World’ are underway in Slovakia.

“Concerns have been expressed about the Ukrainian school law, which restricts opportunities for members of ethnic minorities to be educated in their mother tongue. As of the second half of primary education, it allows only education in the state language with the respective minority language as a special subject,” said Skalsky.

Even though the current level of the Slovak education system in Ukraine doesn’t clash with the new limits, the law prevents this community’s possible further development, after its Slovak features were ruthlessly suppressed during the Soviet Union, said Skalsky.

Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia have also already expressed their objections to the law.