Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) has submitted signatures for the three referendum initiatives, namely, for the referendum on the government, for the referendum on the public media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia, and for the referendum on long-term care. “The collected signatures allow voters to vote in a referendum on the rejection of the harmful laws adopted by the Golob coalition. These laws impoverish people and must be rejected in a referendum. The government is pursuing a wrong policy that is impoverishing every one of us,” said MP Zvonko Černač before submitting more than 157 thousand signatures.
MP Černač explained why we should all vote “No” in the referendum on long-term care. The Long-Term Care Act brings a better social and material situation for those who need the help of others, both in nursing homes and in other forms of institutional care, as well as at home. The government is removing all these good solutions or pushing them further down the line into the future, he said, adding that “the government’s law takes 80 million euros from the needy and sends funds to places where they are not needed, which must be resisted. By voting against these laws three times, a clear signal must be sent to the government coalition. Funding for long-term care has been provided for in the next year’s budget in the amount of just under 100 million euros. The government is cutting it to the minimum and redistributing a large part of it to the care of migrants. Funding for migrants has been increased from 9 million euros to 61 million euros.”
MP Alenka Jeraj presented an initiative to amend the Radio-Television Slovenia Act. She stressed that the composition of the Programme Council is politically oriented and selected. “We in the SDS party are also opposed to the amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act because we believe it takes us back to the old days. With the amendment, the government has granted exclusivity only to certain non-governmental organisations that are apolitical on the surface but have appointed political staff in the past. We have not yet received an answer from the competent Ministry as to why these NGOs were chosen to form the RTV Programme Council. The law was also adopted without any public debate on it,” she was critical. She also added that it is crucial that the new amendment takes away the right to decide from those who are actually financing the operations of Radio-Television Slovenia, meaning – the taxpayers. Up to this point, the viewers and listeners proposed 16 members of the council, but with the new amendment, this has been abolished.
MP Branko Grims said that the number of signatures that they collected was huge and thanked all those who took part in the collection. He stressed that the number of signatures is very significant and added that the real number is, in fact, even higher than the one presented, as some administrative units had processed the signatures with a delay. “Dr Lovro Šturm’s textbook puts it very nicely when it says that a referendum is the only effective form of imposing power. In the past few days, when it became obvious that we were going to succeed, there was a growing nervousness among those who, a year ago, were saying that a referendum was the highest form of democracy.”
“Inflation has gone up so much it’s insane,” he said, adding that inflation occurs not because people spend too much but because the government spends beyond its means. The government wants to increase the number of ministries and recruit more to bring to the trough those to whom it owes its electoral results. “The government wants to set up a record number of ministries – 20 – so we would be the record holders in Europe when it comes to the number of ministries per capita. This and the policies of the Golob government are what we need to say no to. Three times no. That is why referendums are worthwhile and necessary.” He pointed out that the excessive spending of the Golob government is making poverty among citizens even worse. “The government is creating new ministries and bringing to the trough those it has to pay back.” Grims also touched on the unwise opening of borders, saying that each illegal migrant costs us 1,670 euros. The government is destroying Slovenia’s economy, he believes, saying that “this is why you should choose no three times at the referendums.”
If the requests for a referendum, which were submitted to the National Assembly by the SDS party on Wednesday, are complete, then the National Assembly must call the referendum by decree in seven days. It is not yet known when these will be held. The SDS wanted the referendum to be held at the same time as the second round of the presidential elections on the 13th of November and announced that they would submit the requests as soon as possible. But by filing on the last possible day, they missed the deadline. As Grims explained, a large number of signatures had to be collected and verified, so they were only able to submit them on Wednesday.
The 27th of November has also been mentioned as a possible date for calling the referendum, but holding it at the same time as local elections is not very likely.