Slovenia: waterfront remains common property

In a referendum on Sunday, 86 percent of Slovenian voters retroactively annulled the country's new water management law introduced in March. According to the law, investors and private individuals would have been able to acquire and use land on coastlines, lake shores and riverbanks. So far, such land has remained common property in Slovenia. At 44.5 percent, the turnout was significantly higher than expected.

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Večer (SI) /

Emancipation of the young

For Večer,

“an important message of this referendum is that the youth can be motivated with the right questions and perspectives, and that they can take up the political baton. This sends an important signal for the future of Slovenian democracy, as does the fact that people are willing to resist the arrogance of the government and protect the public interest. After all, with this law the government trampled on democratic dialogue, transparent debate and experts - who were almost unanimously against the amendment.”

Dnevnik (SI) /

Prime minister should draw consequences

For Dnevnik the result is also a vote against the government:

“After the surprisingly high turnout, there's no avoiding the conclusion that with this referendum people not only rejected the bad water law but also voted against Janez Janša's government. We have been witness to the most reliable public opinion poll, a kind of referendum on a government less than a year before the parliamentary elections. ... A referendum that sends such a loud and decisive message should not be without political consequences. The minister responsible for such a defeat should resign immediately or the prime minister should have him replaced.”