Foreign Minister Sees “No Reason” to Resign


While he fully expects to face an ouster motion, he told Dnevnik he did not plan to step down on his own accord.

"No, I will not resign, there is no reason for me to step down," Erjavec said in an interview for Monday's Dnevnik.

He said he had nothing to do with the overheard conversations between the Slovenian arbitrator and a Foreign Ministry official that sparked the arbitration scandal.

Nevertheless, he will step down if Prime Minister Miro Cerar decides he is responsible. "I would resign myself."

Even if Cerar were to demand his resignation, he would "not bring down the government". "The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) will continue to try and assert its programme in the current coalition."

Indeed, Erjavec said there was "no chance" that his party would join a government led by the opposition Democrats (SDS). "The opposition leader [Janez Janša] is well aware of that and he's trying to do everything he can to weaken me and DeSUS."

"It is clear that the arbitration event is being exploited primarily for attacks against me; bringing down the foreign minister would erode the government."

"But I am not the ultimate target, the prime minister is," Erjavec said.

If Erjavec were to be sacked, he said he would not seek to get a new cabinet post. "I have said it time and again that me being minister is not the key."

The minister fully expects that the opposition will mount an ouster motion against him. "It would be highly unusual if they did not do it. For me this would be a good opportunity to respond to all accusations on live TV."

The interview comes just days after Prime Minister Cerar said Erjavec continued to enjoy his trust.

However, public opinion is leaning against him, as evident from polls released on Sunday and Monday.

In a Mediana poll for POP TV a plurality of 46% said Erjavec should resign.

In a Delo poll released today 40% said he would resign against 34% who support him; a quarter of respondents were undecided.

However, the respondents were of two minds when asked whether they would support his dismissal even if that meant the government would collapse as a result.

In that scenario, 34% would support his dismissal and 36% would oppose it, with 30% undecided.