The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 26 June 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here
Mladina: DeSUS aiding far-right
STA, 26 June 2020 - The latest editorial of the left-wing weeklyMladina takes issue with the leader of junior coalition Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) Aleksandra Pivec, arguing she lacks insight into the workings of politics and above all into Slovenian political history and the methods of Prime Minister and Democrats (SDS) leader Janez Janša.
The weekly paper's editor-in-chief Grega Repovž points to Pivec lashing out this week against a satirical paper that wrote she would be conferred the diamond order of the SDS, the party's alleged highest order of merit, at Wednesday's Statehood Day ceremony.
While Pivec accused the paper of propagating fake news and "humour that only they understand", Repovž says the reaction underlined that some of the highest positions in Slovenian politics are occupied by political amateurs without any knowledge of satire or of political history, meaning they also do not understand the weight and responsibility their office carries.
This fact is exposed time and again in Pivec, who Repovž says is not a person with bad intentions but is somebody who for instance does not understand that people do not oppose Janša today because of him allegedly being a right-leaning or conservative politician.
"She does not understand that the key problem is that Janša is neither a right-leaning or conservative politician but a man whose clique has in fact hijacked the Slovenian right or conservative politics", or that a major part of right-leaning intellectuals, still thriving in the 1990s, withdrew of their own accord, seeing that any steering away from Janša meant instant onslaught.
"The situation is even worse in the political arena itself. The only conservative party that managed to preserve itself - the reason being the wisdom of its former head Ljudmila Novak - is New Slovenia (NSi), a remnant of the Christian democrats."
Repovž says he is focusing on this aspect of Slovenia's political reality because it seems that Pivec is perceiving the current developments as opposition to a conservative government. Believing Pivec to be under the spell of Janša's charisma and fake mask, Repovž suggests she is failing to see "this not a conservative government, but the far-right posing as one".
While arguing Janša's misleading of exhausted and frightened people within a neoliberal system is only a response to the demands of the market that can also be seen in the US, Russia or Turkey, Repovž says this does not absolve Pivec of her responsibility.
It is also "in her name that people are being ID-ed on streets today, that fences are being erected, that people are being illegally filmed and subjected to face recognition software, that university professors are being removed from the central square while they are reading the Constitution".
This is the point the satirical paper was trying to make, Repovž concludes the commentary entitled Ignorance as a Political Concept.
Demokracija: Janša rejects claims he has authoritarian tendencies, says govt working hard
STA, 24 June 2020 - Prime Minister Janez Janša has rejected in an interview for the right-wing weekly paper Demokracija accusations about authoritarian tendencies, saying the reproaches "are coming from those who left the country naked and barefoot before one of the hardest tests in this nation's history".
Arguing that unlike its predecessors the government is not only engaging in empty talk but is cooperating, Janša said all coronavirus crisis stimulus packages had been coordinated with stakeholders across the board and that the opposition had been invited to cooperate as well.
This is why "claims about plans for an authoritarian regime do not pass the test of rational thought", the prime minister and head of the Democrats (SDS) said.
Commenting on claims by former PM and LMŠ head Marjan Šarec that the government was left without legitimacy, Janša said it was sad that "even in such fateful times some cannot overcome their grudges, prejudice and anger".
"Instead of contributing according to their best abilities, they use the shield of cynicism and sow discontent, restlessness and divisions among people in a time, when they would mostly need hope and encouragement."
Also commenting on the SocDems' list of 10 + 100 mistakes committed by the Janša government, a major one among them being the methods of government and communication used by the PM and other cabinet members, Janša said it would be hard to find 100 mistakes with governments that involved the SD.
"They did not even adopt that many measures in three terms. 100 and more lost of wasted opportunities sounds more like it," Janša said.
As for the priorities of the current government, Janša said that although the term would regrettably be significantly shorter "because of Marjan Šarec's failed experiment, the government will try to overhaul social support systems, prepare the basis for long-term care, form the demographic fund, speed up zoning, simplify tax procedures and secure an effective protection of the state border.
Janša sees the ageing population as a key challenge, which is why he feels that it necessary to set up the demographic fund - which is expected to bring all state assets under one roof - as soon as possible. He said a draft bill was already on the table.
Turning to the Slovenian EU presidency priorities, he listed the need to improve the concrete capabilities of the EU and member sates to deal with global crises, such as a pandemic or an extensive cyber attack. Special attention will moreover be given to the situation in the Western Balkans, the European Neighbourhood Policy and enlargement.
All our posts in this series are here