The Slovenia Times

New green party established


Ljubljana - A new green party led by Jure Leben, a former environment minister, has been established, entering the political arena just over a year before the next scheduled election.

The Party of Green Action (Z.DEJ) promises to strike a balance between sustainable economic development and protection of the environment.

Leben has spoken in favour of nuclear energy as a source of zero-carbon emissions and one of the keynote speakers at Saturday's inaugural congress was Tanja Skaza, owner of a major manufacturer of plastic products.

Beyond the environment, Leben told the delegates at the digital congress that the party's core values would be freedom, tolerance, democracy and respect.

The party also intends to fight to preserve accessible public healthcare, pursue a just social policy, strengthen vocational education, and digitise the educational system.

Slovenia has long had multiple green parties, but after securing parliamentary representation in the early 1990s, they have been on the sidelines for much of the past three decades.

In 2018 the Green Party led by Andrej Čuš, state secretary at the economy ministry, got just over 1% of the vote.

Leben has criticised Čuš's Greens, describing them as not really a green party. Today, he said the time was right for a "true green party".

"It's been enough of words, misleading, vapid words and artificial divisions," he said.

Leben was one of the co-founders of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) and served as environment minister in the Marjan Šarec government.

He quit as minister in early 2019 amid mounting pressure over his alleged role in a dodgy tender related to a scale model of the Divača-Koper rail project in his previous job as Infrastructure Ministry state secretary, which he denied.

Soon after the resignation he also quit the SMC, saying it was no longer a party of values but only a dead shell of sunken ideals.


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