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