President says no to Ministry of Environment

Yesterday, 26 August, Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic decided to use his right of veto to stop changes to the Competence Act, which amongh other things lays down the rules for which ministry is responsible for what issues.

The veto has put on hold the government’s plans to re-establish the Ministry of Environment as a separate institution, but parliament has the possibility to supersede the veto with 76 votes, which it will probably do with ease at the coalition holds 79 MP seats. The plan was to get the Ministry of Environment back into life on 1 November.

In response, ruling party Most-Hid called a press conference today, at which it expressed discontent over the President’s veto (Most-Hid would control the ministry). Party head Bela Bugar said the President’s action is basically only holding up certain issues like tackling the aftermath of the recent floods.

One of President Gasparovic’s objections was that the ministry dealt also with other areas, like forestry and water management. In this regard Bugar underlined that this long-standing competence issue between the former environment and agriculture ministries would need time to be resolved.

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