Slovenia will hold a referendum today over recent legislative changes to the Waters Act. The Waters Act provides for the
Slovenia will hold a referendum today over recent legislative changes to the Waters Act.
The Waters Act provides for the management of Slovenia’s waterways to protect them from pollution. Today’s vote comes after outcry from ecological organizations over new changes to the legislation allowing development in coastal areas which critics claim would increase water pollution and prompt industrial and tourist development around the country’s waterways. Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s conservative government claims that the changes would achieve the opposite and increase funding for flood relief.
Though debate over the changes and their effects continues, the referendum is likely to block the implementation of these changes. While a majority of voters—who must constitute at least 20% of Slovenia’s 1.7 million eligible voters—must vote against the changes in order to overturn them, environmental groups were able to collect 50,000 signatures condemning the shift in only 30 days, signaling widespread public support for the referendum. Additionally, Jansa’s government coalition currently only holds 38 seats in the Slovenian National Assembly, while the opposition has 47. This lack of widespread support for the current government means voters will likely vote to change laws it puts in place if they are given the chance.
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