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Slovenian Governing Coalition Totters

Three ministers quit the Slovenian government on 7 April following the decision of their conservative People's Party to quit the governing coalition, bringing the total of cabinet resignations within the past week to five after two ministers resigned to take up EU-level positions, Reuters reported.

The People's Party first broke with its center-left allies over a recent referendum to block the retroactive restoration of residency status to a large number of former Yugoslavs known as "the erased," who lost their residency status in 1992.

Most of the governing coalition opposed the referendum, but the People's Party joined the conservative opposition in backing the measure, which won about 95 percent of the votes cast.

The People's Party then backed an unsuccessful opposition move to unseat Interior Minister Rado Bohinc of the ex-communist United List of Social Democrats, who said he will continue to reregister "erased" former residents retroactively despite the referendum, which many considered a xenophobic and demagogic effort by conservative parties to score points with the voters.

(RFE/RL 08.iv.04)

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