SLOVAKIA should adopt a historical region model, and be divided into 18 units rather than the current eight self-governing regions, according to MP Zsolt Simon of the Most-Hid party, who recently launched a petition to hold a referendum to this end.

Simon launched the petition on Janaury 21 in Rimavska Sobota, where he met the representatives of municipalities in the historical region of Gemer. Most of the mayors who attended the meeting said they will participate in collecting the signatures, the TASR newswire reported.

Simon asserts that the current model of eight self-governing regions has not proved to be effective, and the alternative that Prime Minister Robert Fico voiced, to return to the Communist-time model of three regions plus the capital is not good either. On the other hand, he believes 18 regions can work better and more effectively.

In the current system, the regional capitals are getting richer but the rest of the regions usually lag behind, which is particularly true for the Banská Bystrica region and its districts of Lučenec, Rimavská Sobota, and Revúca. Simon believes the 3+1 model would make it even worse.

“The same people would then deal with regional problems of Gemer as well as Kysuce, where regional differences are incomparable,” Simon said as quoted by TASR.

Simon proposes the regional councils to be composed of mayors of the towns and villages in the regions and their vote would respond to the number of people they represent. They would be paid only their mayoral salary.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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