The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 05 June 2019
Mladina: Eastern Europe did not deserve any key EU posts
STA, 5 July 2019 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest commentary that the countries from Eastern Europe have no business lamenting the fact that none of its representatives have been tipped to get one of the top four jobs in the EU, as they do not deserve any respect.
"In the days following the selection of the leading staff of the European Union for the next five years, it could also be heard in Slovenia how bad it is that there are no candidates from Eastern Europe for any of the posts.
"That it would be symbolic and good as a gesture of respect to the new members. Respect? Why? The Eastern European countries have been a great disappointment of Europe, turning out to be fascistic, nationalistic, introvert, narrow-minded and democratically immature fifteen or twenty years after the enlargement."
In the commentary headlined On the Right Side of History, editor-in-chief Grega Repovž wonders whether Poland, Hungary, Slovakia or Croatia deserve any respect, adding that "this Eastern Europe is nothing but a disappointment."
Last year, Slovenia escaped by a hair becoming a part of this part of Eastern Europe owing to the maturity of a majority of political parties and the clearly expressed will of the civil society, he adds.
Referring to Marjan Šarec being appointed prime minister in a minority government, the commentator says that with Janez Janša of the opposition Democrats (SDS) in power, "today we would be a part of the problem and one of the countries which were pushed out from the so-called core Europe this week."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron played out a game which exposed the Eastern European nationalists, including Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, whose mouths are otherwise full of Europe.
"What is being formed is not automatically a Europe which we would like. We will perhaps get some headaches. But nevertheless, we are watching an attempt at stemming the growth of populism. This is good. Slovenia has fortunately found itself on the right side."
This is so because Slovenia has a normal, democratic government, and partly because it has the euro, and because Šarec, like Macron, became a liberal on the European scale at the right moment. "We have no serious influence on the developments, but we are on the right side of history. It could have been completely different."
Demokracija: New media legislation introduces censorship
STA, 4 July 2019 – Left-leaning politicians in Slovenia have no sense of responsibility and show no respect for the rule of law, the right-wing weekly Demokracija says in its latest editorial. They set the boundaries for what is allowed and now, with the new media bill, they will also decide on what constitutes hate speech, says editor-in-chief Jože Biščak.
According to the draft media bill, a state official called the media inspector will decide on what constitutes media-sponsored inciting of hatred and intolerance.
This person will be able to order a media outlet to remove certain content and even slap it with a fine.
"This is not only an inadmissible interference with the autonomous editorial policy but an interference with the freedom of speech from the position of political power," says Biščak.
It is not surprising that the Slovenian Journalists' Association (DNS) welcomed this form of censorship.
First, it welcomed it because it will directly decide on what is appropriate and what is inappropriate content and second, because the DNS has shown many times it could not care less about media freedom.
Most recently it illustrated this by supporting Prime Minister Marjan Šarec's call to state-owned companies not to advertise in certain media outlets.
"It is more than obvious that Slovenia is again or (still) deeply in the Communist totalitarian system that tramples on human rights, of which the freedom of speech is the most important," Biščak says, adding that the deep state does not even bother to hide this anymore.
"The question is whether liberation from these chains is even possible in a peaceful way," concludes the commentary headlined In the Beginning Was the Word.