By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv.si
“I consider this to be some kind of political pressure, apparently they will now try to stop their political rivals through the courts,” former interior minister Aleš Hojs responded to the March 8th Institute’s lawsuit. He also remarked that March 8th Institute, at this moment, is not allowed to protest against what the current government is doing, so they file lawsuits against those they dislike.
The March 8th Institute filed a lawsuit against former interior minister Aleš Hojs a week ago, they said at today’s press conference. They explained that the lawsuit was filed because of Hojs’ statements regarding the summer fires in the Karst and the lack of water. “We demand the payment of compensation for non-material damage, in the amount of 3 thousand euros,” announced the lawyer of the March 8th Institute, Neva Čokert. Let us remind you that during the summer fires in the Karst, the former Minister of the Interior wrote online that the March 8th Institute was never blamed for the fires, but that “it will go down in history as that non-governmental organisation that, by deceiving people managed that there is a shortage of water in Primorska region and Karst”.
“It is an undoubted fact that this is not an ordinary organisation, but that it is an association that is an outpost of the left political option,” Hojs emphasised in response, reminding that they proved this with all their activities during the previous government. He also emphasised that there were no lies in the record – as he was accused by the March 8th Institute. It was even emphasised that the institute cannot be blamed for the fires in the Karst. “Undoubtedly, it was the March 8th Institute that significantly contributed to the fact that the Water Act was not adopted,” he repeated once again. The water law in question would have ensured that the investments – at that time, of course – for the Slovenian Istria and the Karst would continue and that the water supply there would be ensured in a respectable time to such an extent that there would be no shortage of water in the coastal area. “I consider this to be some kind of political pressure, obviously they will now try to stop their political rivals through the courts,” he assessed and remarked that at the moment they are not allowed to protest against what the current government of Robert Golob is doing, that is why they are filing lawsuits against those they dislike.
In cooperation with the executor Legal Network
“We decided to file a lawsuit because we believe that there should be a limit to the spread of lies,” the director of the Institute, Nika Kovač, said at the press conference. She also said that they strive to have a respectful dialogue in society. Their lawyer said that the law firm Zupančič Čokert, on the authority of the Institute and in cooperation with the Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy, filed a lawsuit against the politician Aleš Hojs. “The purpose of the lawsuit is primarily to prevent defamation, stating untrue facts on social networks, the sole purpose of which is to discredit non-governmental organisations, in this particular case the March 8th Institute,” she said.
The fact that supplying Slovenian Istria with water is an unfulfilled obligation of the state, even though it is one of the most important national urban centres, was loudly pointed out in 2019 by all Istrian mayors and members of parliament, who together advocated for the provision of an additional water source for this area, Delo reported. “It was only when Andrej Vizjak took over the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning that the decision was made that they would no longer waste time with studies, as there had been enough of them in previous years, but would continue the already started Padež project, which now includes curbing its Suhorica tributary,” Branko Simonovič told Delo a year later. In November 2020, the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Affairs concluded a contract worth five million euros for the preparation of documentation, on the basis of which a building permit for the construction of the reservoir could be obtained. “The profession is not united in terms of solutions,” warned Environment Minister Uroš Brežan last summer, adding that they have been dealing with this issue for more than forty years. And right now, everything seems that they will be wondering for the next forty.