Three More Referendums Confirmed

26. 04. 2011

Three More Referendums Confirmed

MPs agreed to squeeze the three referendums into a single day amid an escalating crisis of the governing coalition, which has been hit by the announcement of a departure of the Pensioner's Party (DeSUS) and of Zares president Gregor Golobic as higher education, science and technology minister.


In an effort to separate the government's lack of popularity from the pension reform referendum, which the remaining three coalition parties and PM Borut Pahor have highlighted as a key project that is also needed to prevent a deterioration of Slovenia's credit rating, Golobic confirmed he would step down before the referendum.

The referendum on the pension reform, which raises full retirement age to 65, or 43 years of service for men and 41 for women, was proposed by trade unions, who claim that the higher retirement age will be unattainable for certain groups of workers and that the reform would reduce pensions.



In line with the existing pension legislation, reformed in 2000, full retirement age in 2010 stood at 63 for men and at 56 years and eight months for women - for the latter it was gradually increasing to 61.

The unions' claims were again rejected today by Labour, Family and Social Affairs Minister Ivan Svetlik, who said the changes would end the decline of pensions and allow them to pick up eventually. He added that the National Assembly was putting the decision on the welfare state into the hands of citizens.



Meanwhile, the referendum on changes to the historical and archival documents act, which restrict access to archives of Communist-era intelligence services, was demanded by the opposition Democrats (SDS), National Party (SNS), unaffiliated MP Andrej Magajna and Italian minority MP Roberto Battelli.

The changes, which were passed in parliament on 4 February, restrict access to the files of the former Office of State Security (SDV). Access would be determined on a case-by-case basis by a special commission.

The government and the coalition quoted protection of human rights of individuals mentioned in the files and national security interests as the reason for the changes.


The SDS on the other hand claims that "unlawful closure of archives of the former political police ridicules the rule of law" and aims to prevent the uncovering of unpleasant truths about the past of certain individuals who hold public offices today.


SOURCE: The Slovenia Times