Pahor & Erjavec Express Support for Army Head After Media Claims She’ll Be Fired

By , 02 Apr 2019, 10:00 AM Politics
Maj Gen Alenka Ermenc in 2018 Maj Gen Alenka Ermenc in 2018 Wikimedia - Bruno Toič, MORS

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STA, 1 April 2019 - President Borut Pahor, the supreme commander of the Slovenian Armed Forces, and Defence Minister Karl Erjavec have endorsed Maj Gen Alenka Ermenc, the chief of the general staff, after there have been speculations in the media over her possible replacement.

Pahor said on Monday he "could not imagine a third replacement at the head of the army in a year," referring to Ermenc replacing last November Alan Geder, who was at the post only nine months after replacing Andrej Osterman in February 2018.

The president stressed he did not see any valid reasons for Ermenc to be dismissed or resign.

Erjavec also expressed his support for the chief of the general staff, saying that he had not considered replacing her. He believes the military needs to be on the same page and dedicated to improving its state.

Slovenia's first female chief of the general staff and currently the only woman serving in such a position in NATO was reported to be losing the coalition's support due to a rumoured dispute between her and Erjavec, the government's general dissatisfaction with her work, and possible health reasons.

The Defence Ministry dismissed the health-related rumours, releasing a statement on Monday, which said that Ermenc was fit for duty and was able to carry out her tasks without any restrictions.

Ermenc returned to work on 22 March after taking a sick leave and will report on the state of the Slovenian Armed Forces to the president on Friday along with Erjavec.

Pahor pointed out that Slovenia had increased the military budget and called for joint support of Ermenc and her efforts to regenerate and modernise the military, thus fulfilling the 2020 goal of the army's positive assessment, set up by Erjavec in November last year.

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