Referendum question on motorways lease unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court has found that the proposed referendum question on the lease of motorways is not in line with the Constitution, ruling that a referendum may not be called.

The court said on Tuesday it had made the decision following Parliament’s motion to establish whether the referendum question was in line with the Constitution.

The court said that the government, by its decision of April to abandon the monetisation plan, undertook that in the case of a new decision it would take into account the fact that voters believe that such a decision should be put to a referendum.

Since concessions can also be granted by Parliament, the government should prepare a special bill to declare a concession for the public service of management and maintenance of built motorways a strategic interest. The court said that it would be appropriate to put such a bill to a referendum too, in which case it would have indisputable democratic legitimacy.

The initiative for a referendum on the government’s plan to lease the motorways to monetise the debts of the state-owned motorway operators was launched by civil society groups and trade union federations.