STA, 10 October - Right-wing parties organised a rally in Ljubljana Thursday afternoon, headlined Save Slovenia. Protestors, who filled the Prešeren Square, called against corruption and expressed their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Marjan Šarec.
Organised by the non-parliamentary People's Party (SLS) and former Maribor mayor and upper chamber member Franc Kangler, the rally was also backed by the Democrats (SDS), the biggest opposition party, as well as several non-parliamentary parties and civil initiatives.
In his address to what the SLS said were 5,000 protestors, Kangler talked about unequal treatment. Millions of euro of debt have been written off for some people, while others are being punished for helping out a neighbour, he said.
He also accused the government of disrespecting the Constitutional Court and called on Šarec to resign. Slovenia needs a prime minister who shows respect for everybody, not just "first class" citizens. "Enough is enough," he said, adding "it smells like spring" in a reference to the start of Slovenian independence efforts dubbed as the Slovenian spring.
SDS head Janez Janša also addressed the protestors, saying the rally was about making a stop to double standards and the deep state. "This is the beginning of the end of anti-Slovenian comedy... After today, nothing will be as it was."
He called for debt write-offs to "first-class" citizens to be audited, that privileges for some be weeded out of the pension system, a complete block on the border for illegal crossings and lustration of corrupt judges.
He also called for de-centralisation of state institutions, more money for municipalities, abolishment of unnecessary agencies and funds, a drastic reduction in the number of regulations, order in health care, among other things.
Janša also demanded responsibility of those who stole from state-owned banks twice, laundered terrorist money in them and shamed Slovenia around the world.
The SDS head said the protestors will insist on their demands, coming together again next time in even greater numbers and not only in Ljubljana, but across the country.
Other speakers also took the floor; demanding the resignation of Environment Minister Simon Zajc, whose department is viewed as having failed to control bear and wolf populations in Slovenia, and criticising the government's ineffectiveness in shoring up illegal migrations.
At the rally, signatures were also collected under a petition listing the protestors' demands.
Before the rally, the key organisers were received by upper chamber President Alojz Kovšca, after which a mass for the homeland was given in the Franciscan Church in Prešeren Square, followed by a concert of patriotic songs.
Kako lep je danes Prešernov trg, ovit v slovensko zastavo ??? pic.twitter.com/wL5UzSxJOy— Ana Zagožen (@AnaZagozen) October 10, 2019