On October 10th, 1920, a plebiscite was held in Carinthia, concluding
the final act of the long process of demarcation between the Republic of
German Austria and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The referendum
was won by Austria, and the Slovenes, who at that time made
up a third of the population in the southern part, became officially a minority.
Over the century, the minority has changed a lot. The number
of members decreased, the political position of the community changed,
and its social composition, mode of settlement, organization and activities
changed fundamentally. According to the last census, the minority
still has about 14,000 members, and according to various estimates,1 about
45,000. Although it has shrunk in numbers, it is a well-organized, culturally
active, emancipated and self-confident minority community.