Court Bans Holding, Bad Bank Referendum
The Constitutional Court has found that a referendum on the legislation setting up a bad bank and a sovereign holding would be unconstitutional, thus in effect banning a popular vote on the matter.
A smooth functioning of the state takes precedence over the right to demand a legislative referendum, the court established in the ruling released on Wednesday. The decision was adopted by eight votes to one.
The court agreed with the opinion of the petitioner, the coalition majority in parliament, that a referendum and in particular non-implementation of the laws would lead to unconstitutional consequences.
A referendum and in particular rejection of the laws would leave constitutional values unprotected to the extent jeopardising the balance between various constitutional values.
The values that in the circumstances of a grave economic crisis take precedence over the right to demand a referendum are: an efficient implementation of state functions, realisation of human rights, respecting the state's commitments under international law and ensuring the efficiency of EU law on Slovenia's territory.
If the state fails to adopt urgent measures to ensure fiscal stability of its functioning in the circumstances of the given economic crisis, the above values are threatened, the court said.
The only dissenting opinion came from judge Etelka Korpič-Horvat, who stated that the Constitutional Court failed to examine whether the two laws were in accordance with the Constitution and that by allowing the possibly unconstitutional legislation the court contributed to an unconstitutional situation.
A referendum on the law introducing measures to boost stability of the banking system, including a bad bank, was requested by the KNG union of chemical industry out of fears for what would happen with companies in bank portfolios, while the referendum on the holding to manage all state assets was requested by the opposition Positive Slovenia.