The Slovenia Times

New investment promotion law passed


The legislation determines that investments in manufacturing or services worth at least EUR 40m that create at least 400 jobs, and investments in R&D worth a minimum of EUR 20m and creating 200 jobs, will be designated as strategic investments.

Each such investment will be monitored by a special government task force that will also coordinate the acquisition of environmental and building permits.

Controversially, it will be possible to expropriate the owners of land on which such investments would be built, provided that the planned investment is deemed to contribute to the public interest by virtue of promoting economic growth, employment and regional development.

In the parliamentary debate earlier in the week, several deputy groups voiced concern about the expropriation provisions, which are modelled on a special-purpose law adopted to facilitate the completion of the Magna Steyr paint shop in eastern Slovenia.

Their reservations mirrored protests voiced by environmental NGOs, who fear that the provisions would be used too freely at the expense of individual rights.

Eko Krog, an NGO that made a name for itself successfully fighting against a Lafarge cement plant, has said the provisions are "distasteful and have no place in a democratic society."

But the government has dismissed the concerns as unfounded, arguing that the criteria for expropriation are very precisely determined, with the instrument used only in "exceptional cases".

The also legislation determines that domestic investors will be able to vie for the same investment promotion funds as foreign investors, which the government says will end what was in effect the discrimination of domestic investors.

The act was confirmed in a bipartisan 34:31 vote, but many coalition MPs abstained.


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