Politics

18 Feb 2020, 14:43 PM

STA, 18 February 2020 - The Culture Ministry joined on Tuesday the condemnation of different forms of attacks on journalists reporting about alleged funding from circles around Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban of media with ties to the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS).

Echoing last week's reaction by the Journalists' Association (DNS), the ministry wrote that the recent outburst of public stigmatisation and even street assaults on journalists is a worrying indication that pressure is escalating.

Undermining the independence of media and attacks on journalists present a serious challenge for democracy, as nobody can perform their work at the highest possible level if they are not safe.

"Violence, harassment and bullying targeting journalists and often also their families does not only cause fear among them but also mistrust and uncertainty in society at large," the ministry wrote, noting undermined freedom of speech leads to poorly informed voters.

It pointed out that reports on the safety of journalists have been included by the European Commission in the regular monitoring of the state of the rule of law in member states, with rising pressure on journalists also appearing in countries with long democratic traditions.

Verbal attacks and bullying, especially when coming from public figures, are often only one step away from physical forms of violence, the ministry said, pointing to reports of international organisations about this becoming a trend in many countries especially before elections.

The ministry said it would continue to push for comprehensive efforts to secure a safe environment for journalists, including with the currently shelved new media bill that entails greater autonomy and social security for journalist and greater transparency of the operations and financing of media outlets.

All our stories on Hungary and the media are here

18 Feb 2020, 11:02 AM

STA, 17 February - Slovenian Foreign Minister Miro Cerar has assessed that the EU 7-year spending plan recently proposed by European Council President Charles Michel is still inadequate for Slovenia. There are slight improvements in cohesion policy in comparison with the previous proposals, but this is not enough, Cerar believes.

The foreign minister assessed the compromise proposal for the 2021-2027 EU budget to the press in Brussels on Monday as he is attending a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council.

Cerar pointed to the Slovenian priorities, which are keeping cohesion funds at an appropriate level, an appropriate solution for Western Slovenia, the more developed of the two Slovenian cohesion regions, and an increase in funds for rural development.

The minister noted that the outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec was the main negotiator, and that Foreign Ministry State Secretary Matej Marn would represent Slovenia's position at a working meeting in the afternoon.

This will be the first meeting after Michel presented the proposal based on talks with the EU 27 leaders, which is not significantly different than the December proposal by the Finnish EU presidency, which satisfied no one.

Michel has proposed a budget worth EUR 1,095 billion or 1.074% of the gross domestic product of the EU 27. This is very close to the Finnish proposal and much less than the European Commission's proposal, but still much more than the net contributors would be willing to pay.

Support for new Libyan action

Cerar also announced that the EU would launch a new operation in the Mediterranean Sea to ensure the implementation of the embargo on arms imports in Libya, which was to upgrade the current operation Sophia.

The EU wants to be active on land, at sea and in the air in preventing arms trafficking which facilitates conflict in Libya, he said, adding he was happy that a commitment had been made today at the political level.

According to Cerar, specific aspects of the new operation are yet to be defined, which is something the EU foreign ministers will discuss at the next meeting, in March.

It is important that the EU does not allow the vacuum which is being created in Libya and around it to be filled by countries such as Turkey and Russia, he said, adding that the EU must show it was a partner to Africa.

Cerar noted that the operation would cover a slightly different area than Sophia, as it would be focused on the east of the Mediterranean, on the routes used to bring arms to Libya.

He stressed that it should not be understood as an invitation for migrants as it was a military, and not a humanitarian operation. "If migrations increase because of the operation, it will have to be aborted."

The purpose of the operation is to mitigate the conflict and find a political solution for the hot spot that is Libya, Cerar said, adding that land operations remained a sensitive element.

18 Feb 2020, 10:05 AM

STA, 17 February 2020- The secretary general of the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) Jernej Pavlič rejected on Monday speculation that SAB was considering joining a potential centre-right government. "Talks on entering a Janez Janša government never took place and we'll never engage in them," he said, adding SAB's deputy group stood united in this respect.

Pavlič explained that SAB had only exchanged two emails with the head of the Democrats (SDS), informing him they could not attend the first round of talks hosted by him because of meetings scheduled for the party's bodies on the same day.

Pavlič said Janša replied by saying that SAB obviously lacked interest and was excluding itself from the talks for the time being. "He was correct in establishing this," he said.

Pavlič added that SAB, a centre-left party with 5 MPs which was part of the recently disbanded coalition, would not abandon its priorities, which include pensioners, public education and public healthcare.

"The priories are not in line with the coalition emerging under Janša. We don't intend to give up on our priorities merely to keep our seats or any other posts," Pavlič said.

As for the speculation that some of SAB's MPs may join Janša after all, he acknowledged some statements had been made or interpreted the wrong way, but added it had been clarified now that SAB will remain an opposition party in case of a Janša government and support good proposals.

SAB on the other hand still has not given up on its initiative for a new "project-based government" that would focus on key projects until a new election is called under a revised electoral law.

Talks have already been held with the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), New Slovenia (NSi) and the SocDems and a meeting is also scheduled with the Modern Centre Party (SMC), Pavlič explained.

Scholars protest Janša

Meanwhile, a group of left-leaning scholars warned today against a potential Janša-led government, writing in a letter that this could quickly lead Slovenia into the circle of EU members listed as violators of democratic principles, the rule of law, of media independence and human rights.

Led by sociologist Rudi Rizman, the 74 scholars, among them eight former university rectors, say the SDS was unacceptable because its authoritarian and nationalist populist traits presented a great danger for democratic culture and political processes in the country.

It is also unacceptable in terms of economic and social affairs, the SDS being bent on ruthless privatisation of companies, of public education and healthcare, the petition says, while also noting the SDS is a denier of human influence on climate change.

It is moreover "completely unacceptable because it is funding its propaganda illegally from foreign sources that are closely connected to the authoritarian government of the neighbouring country, which means a serious peril to our sovereignty and financial independence".

The petition comes after a group that included Žiga Turk, the reform minister in Janša's second government, former MEP from the ranks of the SDS Romana Jordan, economists Igor Masten and Sašo Polanec, and banker Marko Voljč called last week for the formation of an inclusive and operational coalition.

They addressed a letter to all parliamentary parties bar the Left and the National Party (SNS), expressing the belief that a snap election would not change the balance of powers. It would only widen Slovenia's development gap and slow down preparations for the EU presidency in 2021.

17 Feb 2020, 11:22 AM

STA, 15 February 2020 - President Borut Pahor has expressed sadness over the "abuse of 10 February, the Foibe Remembrance Day," and regret that high representatives of Italy ignored the historical truth Slovenia and Italy established together.

Addressing a World War II commemoration on Friday in the town of Komen, not far from Slovenia's border with Italy, Pahor was quoted by his office as saying he regretted that "high representatives of the Italian state still do not respect the mutually agreed historical truth for the period between 1880 and 1956 as determined by the final report of the Slovenia and Italian mixed historic and cultural commission".

Sunday night the Italian neo-Fascist movement CasaPound put up banners describing World War II Partisans as assassins, issuing a protest following an attempt in December to deny the suffering of Slovenians at the hands of Fascists.

The banners were raised in Slovenian towns and villages on the eve of the Foibe Remembrance Day dedicated to the victims of post-WWII killings by Yugoslav Communists, many of whom were thrown in Karstic chasms called foibe in Italian.

On Monday, the Foreign Ministry condemned the smear campaign and urged the Italian authorities to respond and "take measures in accordance with their powers"

The ministry added that Slovenia respected the Italian Foibe Remembrance Day and that it expected "the same respect for Slovenian and other victims of the resistance against the occupying Fascism, in particular civilian victims who massively perished in Italian concentration camps."

Yesterday, Pahor said that he had great hopes for the joint commemoration Italy and Slovenia are preparing to mark 100 years since the Fascists burnt down the Narodni Dom community centre of the Slovenian population in Trieste.

Pahor will attend the ceremony planned for 13 July alongside his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella. He also expects that the building, which had been renewed, would be returned to the Slovenian minority in Italy. "It should be a great day, a turning point we all will remember with joy," he said.

17 Feb 2020, 08:15 AM

STA, 16 February 2020 - Addressing a ceremonial session marking the 31st anniversary of the Democratic Party (SDS) in Murska Sobota on Saturday, its leader Janez Janša said that the next snap election is likely close. He repeated that the SDS was open to cooperation with everybody in the spirit of constitutional values.

Janša has launched coalition-building talks after the resignation of Prime Minister Marjan Šarec. He has been talking with the Modern Centre Party (SMC), the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and New Slovenia (NSi).

While the NSi already gave its leader Matej Tonin the mandate to negotiate a partnership with Janša, the SMC and DeSUS, both partners in the outgoing coalition, have not yet decided whether they would join this coalition.

The SDS is the biggest party in the National Assembly, however, Janša was unable to put together a coalition after the 2018 election, as most parties refused to enter a partnership with Janša.

Unless a new coalition is formed by early March, Slovenia will hold an early election, an option for which the SDS says it is ready. Indeed, the party has been faring very well in public opinion polls.

In his speech today, Janša said that new faces spring up ahead of every election and this will also be the case this time. "Although it is known that such attempts do not work, things can obviously still be manipulated up to a point."

He also said that the SDS was open to cooperation on the basis of values stated in the Constitution. After every fall of a government or before an election, there are always discussions whether it is possible to put together a government that would not open ideological issues, he said.

Janša believes it is possible to build a majority coalition solely on the values of the Constitution. If these had been in focus and not undermined, things would be much different today.

He also invited the parties that refuse to cooperate with the SDS to "come out of the woods after 75 years, stop living in the past and turn to the future". Janša's invitation to talks has been rejected by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), the Social Democrats (SD), the Left and the National Party (SNS).

15 Feb 2020, 11:27 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 14 February 2020

Mladina: Parties should reject SDS-led government

STA, 14 February 2020 - Mladina, the left-leaning magazine, appeals to MPs and parties to refrain from joining a coalition led by the Democrats (SDS), arguing in Friday's commentary headlined All the Masks Have Fallen that now is the time to stand up for democratic standards.

"All the masks have fallen, all faces have been revealed. It is no longer possible to debate who stands for what kind of policies or democratic standards, the political parties have already made that plain," reads Mladina's editorial.

The leaders of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), New Slovenia (NSi) and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) have no qualms about SDS's democratic standards.

"They don't care if this party spreads intolerance, if its propaganda machine calls for the lynching of those who think differently, if it threatens journalists and politicians who disagree with them, they don't care if this party is connected to lobbies and is an ally of the Hungarian government and the Fidesz party."

Whether or not SDS leader Janez Janša forms a government now depends solely on individual MPs in the SMC, NSi and DeSUS. "How many MPs leave the SMC if these parties agree coalition is the only issue that remains open and will determine the course of events to come."

Mladina sees Foreign Minister Miro Cerar and Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer, both senior SMC members, who oppose cooperation with the SDS, as examples of politicians who have stood up for democratic standards and who have created an opportunity for SMC lawmakers to reject party leader Zdravko Počivalšek's "Machiavellian stance".

It also suggests Slovenia should look to Germany, where the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer had to step down "due to inconsistency about cooperation with the Alternative for Germany (AfD)".

"In Slovenia, a young democracy where MPs and ministers are seen as some kind of party soldiers, this was received with amazement... Yes, it is democratic for an MP or politician to follow their conscience. And in the coming days, when perhaps another MP decides in a similar fashion, this would be a feast of democracy."

Demokracija: The left's violent streak

STA, 12 February 2020 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija condemns death threats against politicians interested in forming coalitions with right-wing parties, saying that violence has always been in the left's domain. "Any death threat is a deplorable act... But it is all the more serious if it comes from the radical left because we know from history that it is usually carried out."

Demokracija editor-in-chief Jože Biščak points to the recent events in Thuringia, with the newly appointed state premier Thomas Kemmerich stepping down a day after he was sworn in.

His family received death threats after Kemmerich, a member of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), was appointed with the support by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the "patriotic" Alternative for Germany (AfD).

"The coalition with patriotic Germans caused unease among the Christian Democrats, even aggravation, but the leftists, unable to come to terms with the legitimately elected Kemmerich, immediately activated ANTIFA, a radical left group prone to violence."

Biščak notes that in Slovenia Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) head Aleksandra Pivec received a threat against her life last week, after she said the party would continue speaking to the Democrats (SDS) about a potential coalition.

Moreover, he says that back in 2012 somebody broke the window on the car of People's Party (SLS) leader Radovan Žerjav as he was negotiating a coalition with the SDS.

When the left fails to achieve what it wants in the legitimate and legal way, they start intimidating. ANTIFA is the left's violent background, a paramilitary unit. It responds to calls by a variety of NGOs nurturing the same ideology.

The Peace Institute is one of them, Biščak says under the headline Born for Violence. In one of its annual reports, the institute said that it helped to topple the second SDS government and the then Maribor Mayor Franc Kangler.

We all know how that happened: through violence (granite pavement cubes), threats (life-size human dummies suspended from a bridge) and betrayal (Gregor Virant), the commentator says about the protests that ultimately led to the fall of the SDS government in 2013.

All our posts in this series are here

14 Feb 2020, 09:56 AM

STA, 13 February 2020 - The Democrats (SDS) have accused the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ) of leaking classified information to journalists about Hungarian financing of media outlets with close ties to the party, accusations that the LMŠ denies.

The head of the SDS deputy group, Danijel Krivec, yesterday sent a letter to Jani Möderndorfer, the chair of a parliamentary inquiry into the financing of political parties, implying that the vice chair of the inquiry and LMŠ MP Aljaž Kovačič, and another LMŠ member, were looking at documents on money transfers from private Hungarian companies in the safe room of the National Assembly on 31 January and 3 February.

Related: NBI Examines Hungarian Funding of SDS-Friendly Media

The documents in question had been obtained during the parliamentary inquiry and were labelled as classified.

Later that week, media reported of the allegedly controversial financing of the SDS from Hungary, publishing data on transactions, which Krivec thinks "could not have been obtained legally", as NKBM rejected media requests for an insight into the transactions.

Krivec therefore proposes that the chair of the parliamentary inquiry into alleged money laundering at NKBM, Jani Möderndorfer of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) reports Kovačič and other unknown perpetrators to police.

Krivec also proposed to parliamentary Speaker Dejan Židan that the issue be discussed by deputy group leaders.

The LMŠ rejects the accusations, saying that its MP and vice chair of the inquiry, Kovačič, has the right and duty to go through the documents that are relevant for the inquiry.

"After all it is his task and duty as member of the inquiry to get acquainted with the content before it is put up for debate or a vote," said LMŠ deputy group head Brane Golubović.

He added that Kovačič and his college had acted in line with the rules, recording the date and the documents they had inspected. Meanwhile, Möderndorfer labelled the demand inappropriate and a pressure on the parliamentary commission.

Kovačič rejected the allegations that he had leaked the confidential information to the press, while SDS head Janez Janša said that only two people had looked into the data on transactions of private companies and that they were both from the ranks of the LMŠ.

Kovačič, on the other hand, said that he and his colleague had definitely not been the only ones looking into the documents. "I'm probably one of the few people who always sign their names when they look into documents. If I wanted to play James Bond I probably would not have been doing that."

Web portal Necenzurirano.si reported of transactions of funds originating from Hungary from accounts in the UK and Hungary to Slovenia on Monday. It said EUR 4 million had been wired, of which EUR 1.5 million landed on the bank accounts of two media companies that are behind the TV channel and web site of Nova24TV, both of which are co-owned by senior SDS officials.

The remaining EUR 2.5 million was reportedly wired to North Macedonia to finance the purchases of media companies with ties to the biggest opposition party, the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE.

The National Bureau of Investigation has confirmed it is investigating the funding of some media outlets close to the SDS.

The SDS has denied the accusations on several occasions, and has even threatened the outgoing PM, Marjan Šarec, with a lawsuit over the statements he made on public TV regarding the financing of the SDS from Hungary.

Möderndorfer confirmed for the STA on Wednesday that he had received the letter from the SDS, which he labelled "highly unusual". "I admit I am surprised this came from someone who has no access to the documents of the parliamentary commission and is neither its member nor substitute member," he said.

All our stories about Hungary and Slovenia are here

14 Feb 2020, 09:52 AM

STA, 13 February 2020 - There was much controversy on Thursday as the parliamentary Commission for the Oversight of Intelligence and Security Services discussed the state prosecution's decision to reject a criminal complaint filed by a parliamentary inquiry over an alleged Iranian money laundering scheme at NLB bank a decade ago.

Addressing reporters after the session, Janez Janša, the leader of the Democrats (SDS), said that the session heard "things that explain much of what is happening" and what was keeping the media busy these days, something that would become very concrete in the future, which he said was "from now on".

After what the commission heard today, Janša said it had become obvious why the "law enforcement authorities that should have investigated the matter found there was nothing wrong (...) People who made possible a criminal act of epic proportions investigate themselves."

Darko Muženič, now director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), served at the Office for Money Laundering Prevention at the time that roughly one billion US dollars was allegedly laundered through NLB bank.

In a bid to "protect the dignity and integrity" of the NBI and Muženič, Police Commissioner Tatjana Bobnar explained today that Muženič at the time served in the department of the Office for Money laundering that was not in charge of the Farrokh case.

Farrokh was the name of the company of Iranian citizen Iraj Farrokhzadeh that the parliamentary inquiry in 2018 found laundered the money on behalf of Iran to skirt international sanctions.

The prosecution's decision of July last year not to prosecute abuse of office suspects in the case was debated by the parliamentary Home Affairs Committee on Wednesday, but the session was suspended because the SDS and the fellow conservative New Slovenia (NSi) wanted to hear from NBI and NLB representatives, who were not present at the session.

NSi deputy Jernej Vrtovec described the findings of investigators which prompted the prosecution not to prosecute as very unusual.

The case was the subject of two parliamentary inquiries, whose extensive reports allege that NLB bankers failed to exercise due oversight and abused their powers at last in the case of some transactions, said Vrtovec.

The police said that that Tuesday's session of the Home Affairs Committee was attended by Police Commissioner Bobnar, who is the NBI director's superior, and director of criminal police Boštjan Lindav.

The police noted that it was the criminal police and not NBI investigators which in 2010 and 2011 handled the case of alleged money laundering at NLB.

Bobnar noted that the police directorate had reviewed police activities in that case 2017 and that the guidelines issued by the then interior minister in connection to that had been fully implemented.

She said that the special department of the specialised prosecution service had rejected a criminal complaint filed against criminal police investigators over the case.

Bobnar also said that the police performed their duties in accordance with the standards of evidence, in compliance with the constitution, penal code and the criminal procedure act and as an independent body whose work in the pre-trial procedure can only be directed by the state prosecutor in charge.

A specialised investigation group formed in 2017 and comprising representatives of the NBI, Office for Money Laundering Prevention and the central bank drew up a plan of work in the Farrokh case to look into suspected criminal offences, including money laundering, terrorism financing and abuse of office.

In the case pertaining to suspected abuse of office, the state prosecutor in charge issued a decision in July 2019 rejecting the criminal complaint by the parliamentary inquiry.

However, Bobnar noted that the specialised investigation group continued work in connection to other suspected criminal offences in the case.

All our stories on money laundering are here, while those on Iran are here

13 Feb 2020, 09:05 AM

STA, 12 February 2020 - Two weeks after the resignation of PM Marjan Šarec, the Modern Centre Party (SMC) indicated on Wednesday that a snap election-entailing alliance proposed by Šarec's party looked increasingly unlikely, while coalition talks with the Democrats (SDS) were going as expected.

SMC deputy group head Igor Zorčič told the press that the details of the deal the SMC had been offered by the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), which wants to see a snap election called, were unacceptable.

Allegedly, the LMŠ offered the SMC a joint candidate list, proposing that a third of the candidates come from the SMC. This, however, is too little for the SMC, which wants a half of the candidates from its ranks.

Zorčič was moreover critical of Šarec commenting on the talks between LMŠ and SMC. "On the one hand, party heads authorised deputy group leaders to lead the talks, and on the other Šarec keeps on commenting for the media."

As for the ongoing talks with the SDS, which is also discussing coalition cooperation with New Slovenia (NSi) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), Zorčič said that some of SMC's ten MPs found some "forms of coalition" more acceptable than others.

Nonetheless, the deputy group is united in its position to continue talking with the SDS, the biggest party in parliament that spent the past year in opposition after failing to put together a coalition.

When asked how many SMC MPs SDS head Janez Janša could count on, Zorčič said that he would be informed in time, adding that the "yield" of the talks would play a decisive role in this.

He believes that the distribution of ministries among potential partners is "a very important element that will affect the support for the coalition".

"Some ministries have a more state-building character, other less so. This means that ideological issues can be more exposed in some ministries and less in others."

Zorčič also indicated that the staffing questions do not concern only the distribution of ministries, but also the name of the potential next prime minister.

He did not provide any more detailed comments about the wishes of the parties involved in talks, but said that the talks were going according to expectations.

Today, a group of people including Žiga Turk, the reform minister in Janša's second government, former MEP from the ranks of the SDS Romana Jordan, economists Igor Masten and Sašo Polanec, and banker Marko Voljč called for the formation of an inclusive and operational coalition.

They addressed a letter to all parliamentary parties bar the Left and the National Party (SNS), expressing belief that a snap election would change the balance of powers. It would only widen Slovenia's development gap and slow down preparations for the EU presidency in 2021.

Janša welcomed the letter, noting that the SDS had invited all parliamentary parties to take part in coalition-building talks. Speaker Dejan Židan, whose SocDems refuse to negotiate with the SDS, meanwhile responded that the best way to such a coalition was through a snap election, the newspaper Večer said.

12 Feb 2020, 14:21 PM

STA, 12 February 2020 - President Borut Pahor said after Wednesday's farewell meeting with Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović in Ljubljana that her picking Slovenia for her last visit had not been a coincidence, since Slovenia and Croatia were neighbouring and friendly countries.

And not only that, "it is also that the two of us personally strived very hard" for the two countries to be on friendly terms, Pahor told the press after the meeting.

This was the 39th meeting of the pair, with Pahor noting that after Croatia's unilateral withdrawal from the border arbitration agreement they agreed to nonetheless continue with dialogue and preserve the bridge between the two nations and countries.

With the exception of arbitration, which is closed in Slovenia's eyes but not in Croatia's even though it is bound by international law, the two countries have resolved all other fields, Pahor believes.

He thanked the Croatian president, who failed to get re-elected for a second term in January, for choosing Slovenia for her final visit.

According to Grabar-Kitarović, Slovenia was a logical choice, since she always highlighted the friendship and ties between the two countries were far stronger than the issues that remained open, in particular those resulting from the dissolution of Yugoslavia.

She took the opportunity to call on the Slovenian authorities to continue talks with the Croatian side to reach bilateral solutions for all open issues.

Grabar-Kitarović agreed that the two presidents' cooperation had been exemplary, even if they feel differently about open issues, especially arbitration.

"But this does not mean we'll say goodbye without talking - on the contrary, it is necessary to discuss problems to solve them," she said.

12 Feb 2020, 10:03 AM

STA, 11 February 2020 - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI, Nacionalnega preiskovalnega urada – NPU, “Slovenia’s FBI”)) is investigating the funding of some media outlets close to the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), public broadcaster TV Slovenia reported. The police refuse to comment.

The media are suspected of having received funding from Hungarian business people with close ties to Fidesz, the party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, TV Slovenija said.

The news comes after web portal necenzurirano.si reported on Monday that EUR 4 million were transferred since August 2018 from accounts in the UK and Hungary to accounts in Slovenia.

EUR 1.5 million allegedly ended up on the accounts of media companies NovaTV24.si and Nova Hiša, the broadcaster of the TV programme and publisher of Nova24TV.

Related: Hungary’s Influence in Prekmurje and Beyond

The rest allegedly went to North Macedonia for the purchase of media companies from the circle of Macedonia's biggest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE.

Necenzurirano.si also said that the funds were the key source of income for NovaTV24.si and Nova Hiša.

In 2018, total earnings of NovaTV24.si reached EUR 1.54 million, only EUR 300,000 more than the total sum of Hungarian funds since August 2018 until today. Whereas the earnings of Nova Hiša in 2018 reached EUR 324,000.

The portal said that the two media are close to the SDS, because several party members sit on the management board of NovaTV24.

Related: Parliamentary Committees Condemn Hungarian Interference in Slovenian Media

SDS leader Janez Jaša accused NBI head Darko Muženič in a tweet today that he had allowed millions to be laundered in NLB bank and was now investigating the media that reported about it.

The SDS has repeatedly rejected speculation about illegal funding for the party from abroad. What is more, the party has threatened to sue outgoing Prime Minister Marjan Šarec for saying that the SDS had received funds from Hungary.

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