STA, 13 August 2019 - Budimir Vuković, one of the thousands of citizens of the former Yugoslavia who were deleted from Slovenia's registry of permanent residents in 1992 (the Erased, Izbrisani), has been granted a temporary residence permit at last, regaining his driving licence as well as a right to work, the newspaper Dnevnik reports.
Vuković has been living in Slovenia since 1978. Being left without permanent residency status following the country's independence, and without citizenship or any documents, he has been unable to leave the country, while living here unlawfully since the erasure.
"Considering that I've been living in Slovenia for 41 years, I'd expect they'd recognise me permanent residence status. But I understand that bureaucracy operates step by step," said Vuković, who used to work as a technician at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant.
He is now earning his living selling Kralj Ulice, the newspaper sold by the homeless people. "I'll be selling the paper until I've found another job," says Vuković, who spends his free time as an author.
Being given back his driving licence, he made his first legal trip abroad on Sunday, driving to Austria for a coffee.
"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. I'm well on course to have my status fully resolved," Vuković commented on the ruling giving him temporary status for the paper on Monday.
He was granted temporary residence status by the Administrative Court based on the European Convention of Human Rights and judgements issued by the European Court of Human Rights.
These require countries to tackle the status of people residing in them for a long time regardless of whether they their status had been legalised from the start.
Matevž Krivic, a former constitutional judge who has been acting as counsel for Vuković and other erased, says that this is far from being the only such case.
Gani Redžić, who has been living in Maribor for 52 years, has been granted temporary residence permit only recently based on an appeal to the Constitutional Court.
However, unlike in Vuković's case, the Maribor administrative unit "forgot" to restore Redžić's right to social benefits, the newspaper Dnevnik reports.