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Monday, July 4, 2022

Grims: “Minister Bobnar has already trampled on the Slovenian constitution in the first few days”

By: L. K. F., PS SDS

At press conference, MP Branko Grims spoke about the decision of the Minister of the Interior Tatjana Bobnar that the Ministry of the Interior will withdraw its consent for lawsuits against individuals related to claims for reimbursement of police security costs at unregistered rallies in the last two years.

As Branko Grims said, the new government has been in power for only a few days, but it has succeeded in something that no one expected. Already in the first few days it trampled on the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, and in at least two cases that was more than obvious. The first was already at the first session of the government, at which they demanded lists of employment and re-employment during the government led by Janez Janša. “Although the information commissioner later tried to absolve them, they ignored that the processing and collection of any data for the purpose of political purges among employees is clearly unconstitutional, as the Constitution gives everyone equal rights, regardless of political opinion. The right to work, the right to access work under equal conditions, to freely choose work, is a constitutional right,” said the MP. He continued that the Minister of the Interior, Tatjana Bobnar, took a step forward by deciding to resign from the prosecution or recovery of costs for illegal demonstrations in Ljubljana. According to Article 35 of the Public Gatherings Act, the costs incurred by the police must be paid by the person who organises the gathering. The law also says that the organiser is the one who appears in public as a convener or makes statements as organiser. “However, Ms. Bobnar has taken a step that is in complete and obvious contradiction with Article 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, according to which Slovenia is a state governed by the rule of law, and Article 14 of the Constitution, which states that we are all equal before the law. She simply cancelled the recovery of the costs, which are huge. In this way, she arbitrarily, illegally, and unconstitutionally passed on as much as 882,650.82 euros to the taxpayers for the costs incurred by the police in protecting and maintaining law and order at unregistered and illegal rallies in Ljubljana,” added Grims.

Grims mentioned that three decisions had been issued to Mr Jenull, for a total of about 40,000 euros. “So, it was a small part, but Minister Bobnar cancelled it as well. The law does not give such a discretion to the Minister. This means that she knowingly violated not only the law but also the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia.”

He added: “Moreover, it turned out that the decision that this recovery was necessary and legal was taken by the previous Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Ms. Bobnar did so in the role of Minister, and it is interesting that she was immediately followed by other bodies and organisations that should have checked and considered such a decision, but they obeyed her. By this logic, the Minister’s word weighs more than a government decision. Even if the government later annuls the decision of the previous government, Minister Bobnar’s actions were illegal and unconstitutional. This means that Slovenia is no longer a state governed by the rule of law, it is not a state in which the rule of law is strictly respected, and it is not a state in which everyone is equal before the law. This leads to anarchy and anarchy to totalitarianism. This has always been the case throughout history. It is amazing, however, that this happened in just the first few days of the new government.”

The MP then pointed out that in the light of this act by Minister Bobnar, the Minister of Justice’s claim that the rule of law in Slovenia will be strictly respected, is a mockery of voters. “There are words, and there are actions,” he stressed.

“We call on the Minister to reconsider her decision and to respect the legal order, the laws of the Republic of Slovenia, and above all the Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, according to which we are all equal before the law. I am convinced that none of those who voted for Robert Golob want to live in a country where laws do not apply,” Grims concluded.

In addition to Grims, today, SDS MP Anja Bah Žibert also addressed the same topic, submitting a parliamentary question: “I noticed in the media that on June 2nd, 2022, the Ministry of the Interior withdrew its consent for the first lawsuits filed against individuals related to claims for reimbursement to the police at unregistered rallies in the last two years.”

She emphasised: “In the Slovenian Democratic Party, we always defend the right to assemble, and we will always defend it. But these rallies were unreported organised rallies that were also violent. These rallies cost citizens about one school, one nursing home, or two kindergartens. Meetings must be registered, appropriate consents obtained, and the necessary obligations settled. Everyone should settle what they must. And it is not true that people just thought of going out on the street themselves. The first rallies began before the establishment of this government.”

Let us recall: from March 2020 to December 31st, 2020, the Slovenian police had 539,966.90 euros in costs, and from January 1st, 2021 to September 20th, 2021, it had 342,683.92 euros. In total, it had as much as 882,650.82 euros in costs for the security of public gatherings, which were not registered in accordance with the Public Gatherings Act.

Bah Žibert also pointed out: “Not only has the Ministry withdrawn its consent for the first lawsuits, but the Minister of Justice recently announced the start of preparations for the so-called General Law on the Abolition of the Law on Offenses in Protests during the COVID-19 Epidemic.”

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