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Government to help 47 Slovenians in Venezuela

At its latest session, the Slovenian government adopted a decision to repatriate persons of Slovenian origin from Venezuela, which has been undergoing a protracted economic and political crisis. The list currently includes 47 persons who wish to return to Slovenia.

Government session | Author Nebojša Tejić, STA

As Minister for Slovenians Abroad Peter J. Česnik stated at a press conference following the government session, they received the initial enquiries about the possibility of repatriation at the beginning of June, and the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad immediately began addressing the issue.

The result is today’s government resolution to initiate a repatriation process immediately so that the people taking part in it are as little traumatised as possible, said Česnik. Seven ministries are participating in the process, and an interministerial working group has been formed.

Repatriation is governed by the Act Regulating Relations between the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenians Abroad, which stipulates that the country can provide for the immigration of Slovenians living in countries affected by severe economic and political crises. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established on several occasions that such conditions are present in Venezuela, and therefore the government has received several initiatives in the last few months calling for aid for our compatriots living in that country.

The Government Office for Slovenians Abroad noted that repatriation is a complex procedure. Slovenia does not have a great deal of experience in this area – to date, only one family has been repatriated, from Syria in 2013 due to the civil war in that country.