With 47 votes for and 18 against, the National Assembly of Slovenia has accepted the amendment to the Aliens Act, which provides for the activation of a special measure that would tighten up the conditions for the entry of illegal migrants into the country. 46 votes from the Members of the National Assembly are enough to activate this article, and so the amendment was opposed by several coalition Members, including President of the National Assembly Milan Brglez, who left the plenary hall in protest. It is also expected that there will be a constitutional assessment of the Act at the Constitutional Court of Slovenia.
Even though Vice-President of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) Milan Brglez and President of SMC and Prime Minister Miro Cerar have come into conflict with regards to this issue, the leader of the Group of SMC Simona Kustec Lipicer assures everyone that ‘the members of the party are still discussing matters with each other’. Even though the amendment to the Aliens Act has split the coalition, Simona Kustec Lipicer assured that SMC ‘will continue operating in the same way as it has up to now, seeking unity and even compromise whenever possible’. However, they will understand if votes deviate for one reason or another or if someone votes according to their own conscience. She expects that the Constitutional Court of Slovenia will have the last say on this Act.
The Act is good but it comes too late
When the act was considered, the biggest opposition party, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), kept emphasising that such measures should already have been implemented during the preparations for the first big migrant wave, as had been done by other countries. Vinko Gorenak from SDS said that the Aliens Act should have been implemented in the same way as the acts of other countries in 2015, when the migrant wave had been approaching. Other countries have already adopted such measures in one way or another a long time ago. Last year, Austria established a quota of 37,500 people with a Government Decision. A Government Decision in Germany has also specified some countries whose migrants would no longer be granted asylum.
The events in the National Assembly of Slovenia during the vote on the amendment to the Aliens Act show that SMC is terribly divided and full of discord, that two camps have formed, Cerar’s and Brglez’s, and that for now Cerar is winning. After the speech of Milan Brglez in which he said that he opposes the Act of his leader Miro Cerar, it has become even clearer that Milan Cerar does not belong in SMC based on his political opinion but in the United Left (ZL).