What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: SDS in 2022 vs Čeferin & Covid-19 in Lombardy

By , 30 May 2020, 09:47 AM Politics
What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: SDS in 2022 vs Čeferin & Covid-19 in Lombardy Covers from the weeklies' social media pages

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 29 May 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: SDS to be left without partners in 2022

STA, 29 May 2020 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in Friday's editorial that the ruling Democrats (SDS) have turned a lot of people against themselves and set in motion a rising opposition movement including people who did not define themselves politically prior to the current situation.

"Unless [Janez] Janša introduces one of the numerous possible forms of undemocratic or semi-democratic regimes, the SDS will leave the government offices together with its perennial leader after the regular election in 2022 at the latest."

The paper argues that the more Janša and his allies keep "destroying Slovenia's immune system", including state institutions and civil society, the stronger response they will face in the next election.

A number of individuals and groups are ready to enter politics and oppose the current government, says editor-in-chief Grega Repovž, adding that UEFA boss Aleksander Čeferin probably won't do that. Nevertheless, Čeferin's recent statements and actions have shown that a clear opposition to Janša has been formed.

The Friday anti-government protests on bicycles have moreover revealed that people are increasingly determined to speak out and point to the prime minister's attacks, says Mladina.

Janša is aware that after the election he will not be able to form another coalition. Apart from New Slovenia (NSi), his party does not have any other serious partners left. "The Modern Centre Party (SMC) will not make it to parliament anymore, whereas the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) could achieve that feat only by turning away from Janša."

SMC MPs entered the SDS-led coalition with relatively simple intentions; they just wanted to somehow politically survive and secure jobs for later, Repovž says.

"From a perspective of someone who considers an MP status a job and has never deemed politics a calling that is an utterly normal and human approach."

Both parties, SMC and DeSUS knew then that this coalition would raise dust and that ideological issues would be reopened, says the editorial, headlined Putting Yourself in SMC and DeSUS Shoes.

However, they have failed to predict that such mass protests will be held every Friday and that European ambassadors and established international organisations promoting democratic standards will be expressing concern over the situation in Slovenia.

The coalition knows that protesters will soon come to the rallies without bicycles. Janša is thus trying to "behead and silence [public broadcaster] RTV Slovenija before that happens, whereas DeSUS and SMC are looking for "a political way out of this situation".

The two parties are under pressure with certain members up in arms. "Moreover, many a DeSUS and SMC member has spent past few Fridays on a bicycle."

Demokracija: UEFA boss to blame for Lombardy tragedy

STA, 28 May 2020 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija takes aim at the UEFA boss Aleksander Čeferin in the latest editorial, suggesting the Slovenian lawyer may soon be forced out of the job because of his role in the Atalanta-Valencia Champions League fixture in the fatal Covid-19 outbreak in Lombardy.

The editor-in-chief, Jože Biščak, writes that experts all but agree that the 19 February match in Milan's San Siro stadium was a "biological bomb that largely contributed to the epidemic disaster".

"Not just Atalanta fans, Valencia supporters too entered a Petri dish to go down in history as part of an unplanned experiment how mass sports events can become an epicentre of a global pandemic."

Biščak says that people of Lombardy were the first to point their accusing finger at UEFA and its boss Aleksander Čeferin, followed by others and that today UEFA is spoken of in social media "as a mafia responsible for the deaths of thousands".

He says the European football decision-makers could have cancelled the match or have it played to an empty stadium if they listened to epidemiologists rather than the WHO.

He says that instead of an apology or admission that UEFA takes part of the blame, Čeferin later chose to threaten national football associations that their clubs would not compete in European cup competitions if they ended football season early due to the pandemic.

While he says the support voiced for Čeferin in Slovenia is part of the deep state's strategy to clear him of all responsibility, Biščak adds: "Western Europe will never forgive Čeferin for his viral indifference and almost dictatorial attitude to some national associations.

"UEFA is not an organisation independent of political flows [...] Those in the know about (football and political) behind-the-scenes know well which political group contributed its decisive votes in 2016 and why he was the only candidate in 2019. And that no interview with the Guardian or such rags will help him [...]

"Humanity will defeat the virus and so will football survive the pandemic, no worries. Not because of UEFA, but despite it. Čeferin, who opened the Petri dish, may soon end up in it himself. Along with the company that befits him," concludes the piece headlined Petri Dish for Aleksander Č.

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