The Slovenia Times

Kranjska Gora Seeks Referendum on South Stream Pipeline


A civil initiative bringing together environmentalists and the disabled have submitted 261 signatures for a local referendum. The municipality will now examine whether the initiative is in line with the law, Kranjska Gora Mayor Jure Žerjav has told the STA.

The municipality will also verify whether such a referendum is possible in the first place given that South Stream is a national project and may be outside the scope of powers of the local community.

"We have to be careful not to irritate people with decisions that will ultimately have no bearing," said Žerjav, who has no doubt that the majority of the locals are opposed to the pipeline.

Opposition to the plan has been long in the making: in November 2012, the day Slovenia and Russia signed an agreement bringing Slovenia into the project, the municipality had announced it would challenge the route.

What is problematic is that the proposed route passes through the narrow Alpine valley upstream along the River Sava, including the Triglav National Park, Natura 2000 areas and the Zelenci protected area.

Moreover, Kranjska Gora is one of the most popular Alpine resorts in Slovenia and it has built its reputation on unspoilt nature, an image that is difficult to reconcile with huge steel pipes.

while Slovenia continues to support the project, the locals' protests may ultimately be unnecessary, as the entire project has been on hold due to EU reservations about Russia's gas monopoly in Europe and the recent escalation of tensions between Russia and the West.


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