STA, 13 May 2021 - A total of 57 persons of Slovenian descent have so far been repatriated from Venezuela. Many have already found jobs and settled down, the parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad was told on Thursday.
The repatriation project was launched in 2019 and those who arrived in the first round have completed Slovenian language classes. Many have found jobs and their children are in school, said Dejan Valentinčič, state secretary at the Office for Slovenians Abroad.
This group is approaching the end of the 15-month period during which they receive special integration treatment. Within this period, they are required to gain either Slovenian citizenship or residency so that they can remain in the country.
According to Valentinčič, the key factor in successful integration is that they were scattered around the country, which made it easier for them to forge ties with the local community.
There are nine more persons in Venezuela who have official clearance to come to Slovenia but have not yet made the journey, either because they are sorting out personal matters or are not ready to make the move yet.
It remains unclear how many more ethnic Slovenians might wish to move to Slovenia. Valentinčič said they get sporadic inquiries. "There is interest in principle, it is not massive but it exists."
According to official data, there were a few hundred Slovenian citizens in Venezuela in 2019 and up to a thousand in total who are of Slovenian origin.