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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Zoran Janković unilaterally changes the rules, opposition announces referendum

By: C. Š. (nova24tv.si)

The Municipality of Ljubljana, led by Zoran Janković, disregards the warnings of the Institute for Nature Conservation. At Monday’s session, the Ljubljana city councillors quickly passed a proposal to amend the decrees on the Tivoli, Rožnik, and Šišenski hrib Landscape Park, limiting events to five locations. After a debate, opposition councillors left the session and announced a municipal referendum.

After the student hike to Rožnik and the Magnifico concert in Tivoli did not receive approval to proceed, Mayor Zoran Janković’s majority approved the proposed changes, ignoring the warnings of the Institute for Nature Conservation. The opposition recognised the “real” reason for the change.

The proposal now allows events to be held at five locations: the top of Rožnik, Mostec, Plečnik’s Auditorium, the sledding area, and the area between Jakopič’s Promenade and the children’s playground. Assessments of negative impacts on animal species and their habitats, as well as the conservation of natural resources, will now be conducted by the city’s Environmental Protection Department.

During the discussion, opposition councillors first opposed the fast-tracked adoption of the proposal and then its content. They left the session after the debate ended. They participated in most of the session, as the amendment to the Landscape Park decree was the last item on the agenda.

Opposition: “The change has a single purpose”

Since Janković announced a “change in the rules of the game” a few days ago, it was clear that he disregards expert warnings, and that the amendment of the decree has a single purpose: to enable Magnifico to hold a concert in Tivoli. According to the state web portal, this was recognised by all in the opposition, who boycotted part of the session. Aleš Primc, a councillor from the Voice for Children and Families list, said he does not oppose events in the parks but that they have approached this in an “extremely problematic” way. “You want to change the system for one specific case, which is generally not done,” he warned.

“If you were truly concerned about protection, you would accept limitations at our locations and at the same time maintain the requirement that any agreement for these locations must obtain the consent of the Institute for Nature Conservation,” emphasised Levica councilor Urška Honzak, reports MMC RTV.

Jasminka Dedić expressed the opinion that the purpose of the amendment is to enable the Magnifico concert in Tivoli, which she described as an attempt by Mayor Janković to subordinate independent expert institutions – a matter that should be decided by a municipal referendum.

The Pirate Party described the decree as legally questionable, and NSi as unreasonable and inappropriate, suspecting that the changes are intended for the mayor’s friends.

The decree stated, among other things, that without prior consent from the Institute for Nature Conservation, organised public events that could jeopardise the favourable condition of animal species and their habitats, as well as the protection of natural values, are not allowed in the landscape park.

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