Slovenian Security Official Talks Extremism, Immigration Cyber Threats, Fake News & Russia

By , 01 Apr 2019, 10:00 AM Politics
Damir Črnčec Damir Črnčec

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STA, 30 March 2019 - Damir Črnčec, the state secretary in the prime minister's office for national security, has told the Siol web portal that all types of radicalisms or extremisms are present in Slovenia, but noted that Slovenia is a safe country.

Črnčec, whose appointment as Marjan Šarec's aide has raised some controversy, said that "all three types of radicalisms and extremisms are present in Slovenia - the right and left, as well as Islamic fundamentalism."

While noting that Slovenia was a safe country, he said that the biggest potential threats were those of the information and cyber type and the issue of illegal migrations, terrorism and a rise of extremism and violent extremism.

Črnčec finds that terrorism is very well defined in the Slovenian legislation, "while there are legal voids when it comes to extremism and violent extremism."

He said that Slovenia lagged behind other countries in terms of information and cyber security, but added that the government had earmarked additional funds for this field in 2019.

"We count on an administration for information security to be established within the Public Administration Ministry, which would deal with the preventive aspect of the forming of a serious information security backbone in Slovenia."

According to Črnčec, the EU is under the "threat represented by so-called fake news and disinformation". "We are talking primarily about the influence of external players, countries, on the political process in the EU."

"The same is true for the influence of these players on individual countries," he said. Asked whether Russia represented the biggest threat in this respect, he said he could hardly say something like that when it came to Slovenia.

Črnčec insists that illegal migrations were primarily a security issue and that it was a criminal act, with the structure of illegal migrants representing the biggest risk.

He assured the public that the migration issue is being managed. "Maintaining a balance between security and solidarity is and will remain the key imperative of our actions in the future."

Commenting on the attempts of the local authorities in Ilirska Bistrica (SW) to prevent a migrant centre from being established there, Črnčec said that the government's position was that a local referendum on the issue was inappropriate.

There is no legal basis for it either, he said, adding that "the government will simply not allow that."

Regarding hate speech, of which he personally had been accused of in the past, Črnčec said that hate speech was present in Slovenia and that a challenge for the future remained to find a balance between its regulation and freedom of speech.

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