The Slovenia Times

First Minister of New Govt Already Under the Pressure to Resign



Media reported on Wednesday, just before the National Assembly voted in the new cabinet, that Maher owns a plot of land on which a small building has been illegally built.

Maher claimed the structure had already been built when he bought the land 11 years ago, and it was his understanding that he would be able to legalise it.

However, aerial photos and Google Maps images released by several media outlets show that the building was not there 11 years ago, it was built around 2006 or 2007.

This has given rise to call that he should resign, especially considering that his portfolio is in charge of spatial planning.

Citizens' List (DL) president Gregor Virant, who brought Maher into the cabinet, said yesterday he would talk to Maher and, together with Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek, decide how to proceed.

Interestingly, Maher recently lodged a request with the Piran Municipality to legalise the building, which he described as an auxiliary farm building, but he was told he does not need a building permit at all under new regulations.

That is because the government of Janez Janša, just before leaving office, adopted a decree on the construction of simple buildings that expands the variety and size of non-residential buildings for which no permit is required.

Maher's building fits into that category and is no longer considered illegal. Since the land it is built on is not classified as protected farmland, the construction is also in conformity with local zoning regulations.

But Maher's predecessor, Zvonko Černač, said today that the aerial photos showed Maher's building does not fit the description of simple building as stipulated by the decree.

"It is my wish that Mr. Maher and other owners of illegal buildings sort out the formalities if possible...but I will not allow clerks to do that by bending the law," Černač said.


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