The Slovenia Times

Iztok Purič steps down as development and cohesion minister


"Despite my achievements, I decided to resign as minister without portfolio for development and European cohesion policy for personal reasons," Purič wrote in a letter of resignation he handed to Prime Minister Marjan Šarec today.

He noted that during his stint, the office "has managed to do what teams before me could not or were not able to do", a reference to the flawed IT system, which threatened to bring Slovenia's drawing of EU funds to a standstill.

Making the IT system up and running again was Purič's "absolute priority", which he compared in the resignation to "winning a mountain bicycle race in a landslide".

"The IT system is now working, making it possible to draw European founds normally," the minister also said in the letter of resignation.

Last week, Purič told the press the Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy had managed to fix the IT system following more than a year of serious problems.

He also said that Slovenia would be able to draw all of the funds which it had at its disposal during the EU's 2014-2020 financial perspective.

Šarec's office told the STA in a release that the prime minister had been acquainted with Purič's intention to step down, and respected his decision.

It is, however, not yet known whether this governmental office remains in the hands of the SAB; the party is not answering the query about Purič's successor.

However, secretary general Jernej Pavlič indicated the party is interested in keeping the office by saying Purič had proved "the SAB is efficient and knows how to push things forward", and would continue to do so at the office.

As speculation emerged about Purič resigning due to disagreements within the party and especially with party leader Alenka Bratušek, Purič denied it.

"Me and president Bratušek had a coffee and a nice talk in the morning." As for the disagreements with the party, he said: "The reasons for my resignation are purely personal."

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) was the only coalition party to comment on Purič's resignation, regretting it and stressing it respected his achievements as minister.

Purič was appointed last December to replace his fellow party colleague Marko Bandelli, who was forced to resign over a delay in producing a report on EU funds phasing and due to meddling in the local elections in mid-November, after only two months on the job.

When he became minister, Purič was a retiree, having served as the director of the institution managing the state-owned Brdo estate for twelve years.

Since the Šarec government assumed office last September, Purič has been the fifth minister to leave, after Bandelli, Culture Minister Dejan Prešiček, Environment Minister Jure Leben and Health Minister Samo Fakin.


More from Nekategorizirano