STA, 12 February 2019 - The parliamentary Commission for Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services debated on Tuesday the national security implications of a lengthy dispute with Italy over radio signals travelling across the border, and ways to protect Slovenian radio stations.
The dispute goes back well over a decade and revolves around frequency interference of radio broadcast signals that cross the border.
Some Slovenian stations have been ordered to pay fines by Italian courts, which has led to recurring criticism in Slovenia, most recently in 2016.
Italy insists Slovenian radio stations' signal in the border area is too strong, while Slovenia has accused Italy of failing to honour international agreements which govern such cases.
Commission chair Matej Tonin said the MPs inquired with the government what it was doing to protect Slovenian radio stations from court decisions that he said were "inappropriate considering how these issues are regulated internationally."
He said Slovenian stations may decide to withdraw from the border area for fear of fines, which would mean that "Slovenian language and Slovenian culture would not be heard in this area," which could represent "a significant security threat" in the absence of action.
According to Tonin, some of the measures presented by the government included counter lawsuits against Italian radio stations for frequency interference in Slovenia, assignment of additional frequencies to Slovenian operators, and legal assistance in cases before Italian courts.
The debate came just two days after senior Italian officials caused uproar in Slovenia and Croatia with statements interpreted as attempts at historical revisionism.
Tonin said that the context made the debate "all the more heated and pertinent".