Prime Minister of Slovenia Resigns due to Railways
Slovenian Prime Minister, Mr. Miro Cerar, resigned after the Supreme Court decided to invalidate the referendum on construction of new railway Divaca-Koper.
This project was supposed to be the largest state investment project, worth one billion EUR. It included the construction of 27 kilometers long double-track railway. Due to terrain configuration, 75% of the length would pass through 8 tunnels, with two viaducts and two railway bridges.
For comparison, current Divaca-Koper railway is a 44 km long single track railway. It connects the port of Kopar, Slovenian main port with the rest of the railway network. It is a part of Baltic-Adriatic and Mediterranean TENT-T Corridors, and its construction is supported by the European Union. It is also of interest for the Republic of Hungary.
During September, Slovenia held a referendum on which citizens of Slovenia voted with a narrow majority for the construction of new railway. However, in March, the Supreme Court decided on invalidating the results of the referendum, with the explanation that the Government’s campaign was unacceptably single-sided, and has ordered a new referendum to be held. After this, Prime Minister Miro Cerar decided to resign.
It is interesting that this is a first example of a Prime Minister in the region resigning as a consequence of not fulfilling infrastructure construction plans. It is obvious that the railway development is becoming an important topic in the region, with serious political consequences.