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UPDATE 1-Slovenian PM to decide on foreign minister's resignation by Tuesday

Sat 2nd July, 2016 2:21pm
(Adds quote, details, background) 
    By Marja Novak 
    LJUBLJANA, July 2 (Reuters) - Slovenia's Prime Minister Miro 
Cerar said on Saturday he would decide by Tuesday on whether to 
accept the resignation of Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec. 
    Erjavec offered to resign on Thursday over a scandal 
involving a leaked tape that led to a breakdown in the country's 
international border arbitration with neighbouring Croatia. 
    Cerar told reporters he was surprised by the offer of 
resignation, which came at an "inappropriate time" and said 
"there are no clear reasons to dismiss the minister". 
    Erjavec was not personally involved in the scandal but as 
foreign minister at the time of the scandal he felt he should 
offer to resign. 
    He tendered his resignation a few hours after the Permanent 
Court of Arbitration in the Hague decided on Thursday to 
continue with its work on reaching a decision on the border line 
between Slovenia and Croatia. 
    Twenty five years after the break-up of federal Yugoslavia, 
Slovenia and Croatia still disagree over their land and sea 
    Croatia withdrew from the arbitration last year after a leak 
of a tape showed that a Slovenian judge on the arbitration panel 
had exchanged confidential information with an official at 
Slovenia's foreign ministry. 
    Analysts expect that Cerar will reject the resignation offer 
from Erjavec, who is also the head of the minor coalition party 
    Cerar also urged the management of the company that runs 
Slovenia's only port, state-owned Luka Koper  LKPG.LJ , to 
ensure that the port starts operating again after employees have 
halted operations since Friday, demanding the resignation of 
Infrastructure Minister Peter Gaspersic. 
    They claim Gaspersic poses an obstacle to the port's 
development by not supporting an expansion of the railway line 
from the port. Their protests led to the resignation on Friday 
of Marko Jazbec, head of Slovenian Sovereign Holding which has 
overall supervision of state firms. 
    "I will not accept that workers run state companies or the 
state itself," Cerar said. The protests at the port, which 
forced Slovenian Railways to halt cargo traffic across the 
country, was causing losses to domestic and foreign firms, he 
 (Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Susan Fenton) 
 ((; +386-1-5058805; Reuters 
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