What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Army on Border vs Protests in US, Slovenia

By , 13 Jun 2020, 21:59 PM Politics
What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Army on Border vs Protests in US, Slovenia From the weeklies' social media

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 12 June 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Army unlawfully patrolling border

STA, 12 June 2020 - The left-wing magazine Mladina asserts in its latest editorial that there is little surprise that suspicions have been confirmed that troops are patrolling the border in contravention of the law and the constitution, and that PM Janez Janša has got the better of Defence Minister Matej Tonin's ambition.

Under the headline Army on the Border, Grega Repovž writes that people from border areas have been reporting sightings of military patrols since April, even though the government denied that.

The government and Defence Minister Tonin also denied the army's involvement after a Trieste-based Slovenian newspaper reported about an Italian-Slovenian dual citizen being held at gunpoint by a soldier close to the border with Italy.

Repovž says the ministry had obviously known at that point already it was a Slovenian soldier who aimed his rifle at the hiker. A report by POP TV then revealed that the police learnt about the presence of the military patrol from security cameras.

Considering they showed the Italian-Slovenian citizen and his girlfriend "photographs of soldiers they could have only got from the army, it is clear the ministry has known for weeks what happened. Still, they have been misleading the public and lying to the Italian authorities".

Repovž goes on to say that Tonin must have counted on it the whole thing would not be made public, that "Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and the police commissioner appointed by the SDS would have taken care of it" had it not been for whistleblowers within the police force.

Unlike the Defence Ministry, Repovž says that the military has admitted unofficially its members are patrolling the south and western border, quoting an army officer as saying that they usually are part of mixed patrols but that it may happen a police officer has two or three patrol parties, each in its own section, but they always report back to the police officer.

"These are grave violations, but not unexpected (...) We knew this will happen when Janša named the ambitious Tonin as defence minister. We knew he will lead him into his 'wars'. Bypassing the law. The same way he 'enticed' Počivalšek to give him the list of companies that should supply protective equipment.

"We do not doubt Janša will protect Tonin. The same way he has Počivalšek - dirtied with his 'deals', he can only sit obediently now and nod in agreement. They knew what they are getting themselves into. Janša got the better of their ambition and he can do whatever he likes with them."

Demokracija: Protests in Slovenia and US as misguided

STA, 11 June 2020 - Looking at Black Lives Matter protests in the US, the right-wing weekly Demokracija argues in Thursday's commentary that the violent protest movement is unwarranted and the media depiction thereof biased. In that, the rallies are similar to Slovenian bicycle protests.

While rioters in the US looted and torched cars and buildings, "the media mainstream was not indignant at the mob, it reported that this was a logical reaction to 'systemic racism' of white cops and whites in general against blacks," Demokracija's editor-in-chief Jože Biščak says.

"And even though politically and ideologically motivated savages wrought destruction, we were seeing scenes that make normal people puke: white cops, Democratic politicians and stars were taking a knee before blacks asking for forgiveness.

"And what for? History? It's been a long time since whites were slave owners and blacks slaves. Because of white violence against blacks? The numbers tell a different story," Biščak says about police statistics showing there are more white victims of crime by blacks that black victims of crime by whites.

"Every victim, regardless of whether they are black or white, is a tragedy. But there is an important difference in society today. Every crime by a white against a black is designated as horrendous and the ensuing destruction as legitimate, while crimes by blacks against whites are overlooked and any peaceful protests designated as racist rallies."

Turning to the protests in Slovenia, Biščak says: "You be the judge is the situation is any different in Slovenia; the difference is that such widespread destruction has not occurred yet, but this does not mean it will not given that 'Death to Janšism' signs by Friday cyclists presage violence, they are an appeal to lynching."

"The method is the same - assertion of the law of the street. Elections are too tough, it is easier to bicycle and demand that the Janša government falls, just as it is more difficult to build and create than it is to destroy and pillage.

"Even though this has nothing to do with the rule of law and liberty, the media mainstream describes violent street methods as something good. This is scary," concludes the commentary What About Tessa Majors?

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