The Slovenian EU Presidency is about to start and the official website has been launched. It comes along with a nicely designed and well prepared Media Handbook (PDF). But there is one element that should make us think (thanks Uroš for pointing it out), the welcome words by the Director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM). The
“Foreigners tell us that we are courageous, but fortune, as they say, favours the bold. We like to joke by saying that we are lucky primarily because we are the first to preside â€“ and the reason is demographics. The most pessimistic projection of the Slovenian birth rate forecasts that there will be 200,000 fewer Slovenes during the next Slovenian presidency. Even now, questions of how â€“ in terms of human resources â€“ we will be able to pull off such an important project often seem to be imposing themselves. One cannot help wondering what questions will arise in the run-up to our eighth Presidency somewhere around the year 2100, when (according to projections), only some 200,000 Slovenes will be left.”
With even a short reflection this is strange. Even the Government was recently proudly announcing that the population of Slovenian has, for the first time, crossed 2 Million. According to Wikipedia the population grew from 1,964,036 in 2002 to 2,019,406 in 2007. This means that the trend is positive.
Getting numbers and statistics wrong is one thing, being socially ignorant is quite another. If the Director of UKOM meant those ethnically Slovenian the statement might be right, but this would exclude all other citizens of Slovenia of other ethnical origins. And this is what worries me: in an official leaflet distributed to numerous foreign journalists, the Director quotes numbers that ignore part of Slovenian citizens. I hope the next edition corrects the mistake, for sure it was unintentional.