Slovenians Deal Blow to PM in Rejecting Referendum on Waters

Slovenia’s government suffered a setback as voters rejected a law seeking to expand waterfront construction.

More than 86% of participants opposed the legislation, according to nearly complete results published Monday by the National Electoral Commission. Turnout was 46% -- the highest in a referendum since 2007.

The snub is the latest blow for Prime Minister Janez Jansa, whose government has lost its majority backing parliament and suffered repeated confidence motions against it since taking power last year. Three times more votes were cast against the water law than Jansa’s SDS party received when it won elections.

The waters legislation prompted criticism from environmental groups that said it favored private investors and could jeopardize water quality. The ruling coalition denied those allegations, saying it was actually trying to tighten construction rules and make more funds available for water and flood protection.

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