Politico on Janša, Orbán and Sunday’s Vote

By , 01 Jun 2018, 09:35 AM Politics
Politico on Janša, Orbán and Sunday’s Vote Screenshot of the results for a Google Image search of Janez Janša

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The dark prince or great white hope of Slovene politics. 

June 01, 2018

Politico has a new article by Valerie Hopkins which contains a brief profile of Janez Janša, the man who looks set to win Sunday's election, and comparing him with Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian President whose been much criticized within the EU for his authoritarian statements and actions with regard to immigration in particular, but also for attacking media freedom, Jews, women's rights, the LGBTQ community, and civil society in general. Orbán is also directly linked to Janša, and his party the SDS, through various media and financial connections, and gave one of the main speeches at the party's recent election rally in Celje. The full text of that speech can be found here, with perhaps the key parts being as follows:

If Europe surrenders to mass population movement and immigration, our own continent will be lost. And, Dear Friends, 2015 was only a precursor of what will soon follow. Tens of millions aim to travel from Africa to Europe, and we must understand that they will continue to come for as long as Europe fails to protect its borders, for as long as it sends out invitations to the citizens of poor countries, and for as long as they see that they have even the slightest chance of entering Europe. I know this is tough talk, but unless we focus our attention on this, we could lose our countries. We could lose our homelands, and they could end up in the hands of outsiders. The aim is to settle among us people who do not belong to our culture, and who will want to live here according to their own religions and customs...

What is at stake in Europe today is no less than the survival of nations. I profess, I believe in my heart, that if Janez Janša wins, if the Slovenian Democratic Party wins, it will guarantee the survival of the Slovenian nation.

For those unfamilair with Janša the Politico article is a good primer on how his story and that of Slovenia have intertwined over the last three decades, and what his return to the office of Prime Minister – which he held from 2004 to 2008, and 2013 to 2014 – could mean. In terms of how things might look Monday morning, Hopkins quotes the political analyst Tanja Starič, who notes “If the SDS comes out on top, it will be a long and painful process to make a coalition because all of the politicians will have to eat their words [about never working with Janša].”

Read the full Politico article here, while all our election coverage can be found here, and our profiles of the major parties are here.

On a related note, Guy Verhofstad, the head of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group in the European Parliament, noted allegations that Orbán has provided funding and media support for the SDS in Slovenia, adding: “Orbán is trying to roll out his illiberal model to Slovenia and possibly other neighbouring countries. Thus undermining the rule of law in Europe. We call on Slovenian authorities to investigate these allegations thoroughly in order to ensure a fair and clean election campaign.” (ALDE's press release can be found here.)


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