The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 16 July 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here
Mladina: Way to early election
STA, 17 July 2020 - The MPs of the coalition DeSUS and SMC are hostages of the ruling Democrats (SDS), the left-wing weekly Mladina says on Friday. They insist in the coalition because they fear losing their seats, which could be easily solved by empowering them by making them financially independent, the left-leaning weekly say in MPs Must Not Be Hostages.
The MPs of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and Modern Centre Party (SMC) fooled their voters when they joined a far-right government, while they had promised them they would never do it.
Mladina's editor-in-chief Grega Repovž says the anti-government protests, which started more than 10 weeks ago, are actually directed against them.
It admits the MPs are in a dead end - they joined the Janez Janša government hoping it would be bearable, while realising after four months in government it is not.
Janša is offering them two more years in office, that is until the next regular general election.
Mladina says DeSUS and SMC MPs are largely victims of Slovenia's constitutional arrangement
Under the constitution, the Slovenian president is the one to decide that parliament is not able to form a stable government and can call an election, but it is actually MPs who have the decision on an early election in their hands.
Mladina says the MPs are always in a dilemma when faced with such a political decision, because this is also a decision on the end of their terms.
The SMC and DeSUS MPs are criticised for having supported the Janša government so that they would not lose their jobs less than half way through their term, which Mladina says this is probably true but also understandable from a human point of view.
Yet MPs can only be truly independent if they are not forced to consider losing their job, if they are financially independent.
There is a simple solution to this - a new article should be added to the deputies act saying MPs are entitled to a compensation for the loss of income until the end of a regular term if an early election is called.
Although this could be a lot of money, it is little considering the harm they can prevent by opting for an early election.
"This is the price of functioning democracy," says Mladina, adding that 30 years of democracy has shown how important it is that MPs are independent.
Reporter: Hungarian scenario may not be effective in Slovenia
STA, 13 July 2020 - Commenting on the current political developments in Slovenia, the right-wing weekly Reporter argues on Monday that the potential formation of an alternative leftist government could have the reverse effect and end up hurting the left-aisle parties, whereas the right cannot count on gaining the upper hand overnight either.
"If a vote of no confidence in the entire government succeeds and the current prime minister is replaced by an interim prime minister in autumn, this political manoeuvring would not prevent [PM Janez] Janša from winning another snap election."
Indeed, it could backfire, says the right-leaning weekly, adding that Janša's party might even secure a landslide victory or its best election result ever due to such tactics, in particular if there is no new political leader on the left.
The future political developments are hard to predict, but it is also difficult to believe that "the relation between the left and the right would turn upside down overnight to the benefit of the latter".
"Janez Janša is not [Croatian Prime Minister] Andrej Plenković, who moved HDZ from the right to the centre and was triumphant in the Croatian general election a week ago."
Whereas Plenković does not need coalition partners due to his landslide victory, Janša probably would, which is an issue for him.
"It is possible to copy political recipes from Hungary, but they will not necessarily have the same impact in Slovenia. [Hungarian Prime Minister] Viktor Orban succeeded in subjugating the dominant media, he turned them into propaganda machinery so that they have helped him stay in power for more than a decade, whereas Janez Janša has always drawn the short straw in the war with the media so far."
Reporter editor-in-chief Silvester Šurla says that Janša's "latest battlefield which he has created using 'blitzkrieg' targeted at Slovenian media" might fail if he does not get support from coalition partners SMC and DeSUS.
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