What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: SDS Systemic Corruption vs Attacks Strengthen Govt

By , 20 Jun 2020, 10:31 AM Politics

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 19 June 2020.

Mladina:  SDS and systemic corruption

STA, 19 June 2020 - Those opposing the government of Janez Janša, the head of the Democrats (SDS), should bear in mind that it was money rather than politics that made the SDS want to come to power, so the opposition should pledge already now to check every deal the government made during the coronavirus epidemic, Mladina comments on Friday.

"We have known for years that the SDS is a business model rather than a political party. And when it came to power, the party immediately started doing business," the left-leaning weekly adds.

When the epidemic started simultaneously with the new government assuming office, the party channelled public money for personal protective equipment towards intermediaries to get millions in commission fees, while claiming that people are dying.

"And then we realized: yes, people are dying, but you turned it into a business, which is why bicycle protests appeared in ... Slovenian towns in the first place," editor Grega Repovž says in the commentary headlined Let's Go Back to the Beginnings.

During the worst of the crisis they changed legislation to carry out large investments which no longer require any oversight and which come with large commission fees. At the same time one was witnessing the disintegration of oversight institutions, including the police, so that evidence about the controversial deals could disappear.

Repovž suggests the SDS is doing it because it knows they have little time before the next election, at which "they will probably not get enough votes" to remain in power.

"They know exactly what they are doing. This is a very well organised clique with clear intentions - to appropriate means, financial flows, privatise businesses and redirect investments so that they control them in the long run.

"This is nothing new, we have seen it in practically all East European countries. From Ljubljana to Moscow this world is very similar. And it has a name: systemic corruption."

Mladina says that staying focussed on the fact that "it's all about money, not about politics" for the SDS should help those who oppose the government to be more united.

And already today opposition politicians should pledge to check every deal from the period when the entire immune system of the state was suspended in the name of the epidemic. For starters, one should calculate all commission fees which selected companies received in procuring protective equipment.

Reporter: No-confidence motions could further strengthen govt

STA, 15 June 2020 - The right-wing weekly Reporter notes in Monday's commentary that the scandal on the procurement of protective masks and ventilators, which failed to sweep away Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, did not cause any harm to the senior coalition Democrats (SDS). The government remains firmly in the saddle, perhaps even more firmly than it looks.

The government will also not be brought down by the upcoming attempts to oust Interior Minister Aleš Hojs over a Thompson concert or Defence Minister Matej Tonic over a military incident on the border with Italy, says editor-in-chief Silvester Šurla.

Ideological efforts of the opposition in both cases could actually have the opposite effect than desired - they could make the coalition stronger instead of weaker, Šurla says.

If no major scandals erupt in the next couple of years, and if no new face emerges on the left, Janša will stay PM also after the next election.

"Tanja Fajon leading the SD does not pose a risk, since she is too leftist a politician to pick any votes from the centre as Borut Pahor did in 2008. Marjan Šarec is also obviously not aiming for the centre, as the LMŠ is increasingly turning left and becoming a copy of the Left."

Only the SAB remains in the centre-left among opposition parties, but the possibility of Alenka Bratušek ever becoming prime minister again is almost non-existent, much like with Šarec.

According to Šurla, it is no secret that Šarec and Bratušek do not like each other, and that Bratušek does not like the Left, which is actually to be blamed for the collapse of Šarec's government.

By denying support for the Šarec cabinet, the coordinator of the Left, Luka Mesec, has shown that the Left is an "extremist, destructive party which cannot even stick with a left-leaning government if all its wishes are not fulfilled".

So the more voters of the Left will vote for the SD and LMŠ instead, the higher probability of a left-leaning government, Šurla says in the editorial entitled Wind in the Sails.

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