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Slovenia in turn recognizes the State of Palestine

Photo: Jure Makovec Agence France-Presse A Palestinian flag hangs alongside the Slovenian flag and the European Union flag on the Parliament building in Ljubljana on May 30.

Bojan Kavcic – Agence France-Presse to Ljubljana

Posted at 5:13 p.m.

  • Europe

Dramatic turn of events in Slovenia: Parliament voted on Tuesday for a decree recognising the State of Palestine, the ruling coalition having decided to force through and reject an opposition motion.

A week after Spain, Ireland and Norway, the small Alpine country took the step after many twists and turns.

The decree was approved by 52 votes out of 90 seats, with the opposition boycotting the session except for one MP who abstained.

The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) of former conservative Prime Minister Janez Jansa had tabled a proposal on Monday to organise a consultative referendum. This manoeuvre was intended to delay the vote by 30 days under parliamentary rules.

But against all expectations, Parliament Speaker Urska Klakocar Zupancic said on Tuesday that the opposition had “abused the referendum mechanism”, saying that the 30-day deadline only applied to bills and not decrees.

During a chaotic six-hour session, interrupted several times for procedural reasons, the opposition motion was rejected by a large majority then the decree passed.

Mr. Jansa had previously accused the ruling center-left coalition of “breaking procedure”, leaving the chamber with his party's elected officials.

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The government sent the decree to Parliament for approval last week, speeding up the procedure in order to ratify the decision before Sunday's European elections, the opposition accuses.

A political calculation denounced by Janez Jansa, close in the past to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. According to the text of his motion, such recognition “causes long-term damage to Slovenia by supporting the terrorist organization Hamas.”

Message of “hope”

On the contrary, Liberal Prime Minister Robert Golob sees it “a message of peace”.

“The recognition of Palestine as a sovereign and independent state brings hope to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” he wrote on the government’s X (formerly Twitter) account.

Nearly 60% of Slovenians support the measure, while 20% oppose it, according to a poll conducted in April among a sample of 600 citizens and published by the daily Dnevnik.

Spain and Ireland, both members of the EU, as well as Norway, officially recognized the State of Palestine at the end of May, a decision which enraged the Israeli authorities.

Last week, Israel had said it hoped the Slovenian Parliament would reject the decree, “a reward for Hamas”.

The issue also gives rise to deep differences within the EU .

Other member states, such as France, believe that now is not the right time, with Paris accusing its European allies of “political positioning” in the run-up to the European elections rather than seeking a diplomatic solution.

Germany, which also defends a two-state solution, considers that such recognition must be the result of direct negotiations between the parties to the conflict.

Before the Slovenian vote, the State of Palestine was recognized by 145 of the 193 members of the UN, according to figures given by the Palestinian Authority.

Most countries in Western Europe and North America, Australia, Japan and even South Korea are absent from this list.

The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people on the Israeli side, mostly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

In response, the Israeli army launched a devastating offensive in the Gaza Strip, where Hamas, classified as a “terrorist” organization by Israel, the European Union and the United States in particular, took power in 2007 .

At least 36,550 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed, according to figures from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116