STA, 31 March 2020 - The government has adopted a motion that, if passed in parliament, will activate a legislative provision that gives the military limited police powers in controlling the border. To be passed, the proposal needs the support of two-thirds of MPs. The National Assembly might discuss it as soon as on Thursday.
In two days, the National Assembly may discuss a mega-package of stimulus measures worth EUR 3 billion to help companies and individuals cope with the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
The government wants to give police powers to the military so as to allow troops to take over some of the tasks from police officers patrolling Slovenia's border with Croatia, which is also the Schengen border.
Interior Minister Aleš Hojs told the Odmevi news show this evening that the proposal has not secured sufficient support in parliament. This comes nearly a week after he said that the government would not go forward with the motion before discussing it with deputy groups.
He said that some remarks by deputy groups had been taken into account, while some could not be. He also said that the remarks were more technical than anything else and believes that the opposition might provide the votes needed for the proposal to pass.
The proposal has raised a lot of dust in public, with many claiming this was a disproportionate measure and that the government was trying to use the coronavirus epidemic to send the military to the border.
Hojs also said last week that the army was not currently needed in Slovenian cities or on the country's roads, but it is "badly needed on Slovenia's southern border" so as to ease the burden on the police force.
The government said in a press release after adopting the proposal that it would brief the relevant parliamentary bodies about the troops' engagement on the border every two weeks and that the troops would have police powers for a period of three months.
Moreover, the troops would be working alongside police officers in line with a plan drafted by the police force and based on its guidelines, the government also said.