What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Fajon & the Left vs Janša & RTV Slovenia

By , 25 Jul 2020, 12:30 PM Politics
What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Fajon & the Left vs Janša & RTV Slovenia Covers 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, 24 July 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Fajon should move SD to left

STA, 24 July 2020 - Mladina takes a look at the left-aisle political parties in Friday's editorial, in particular Social Democrats (SD) interim leader Tanja Fajon, who, the left-wing weekly says, has the potential to consolidate the party, but also faces numerous challenges.

The SD is taking the lead on the left, as shown by opinion polls two months in a row, but the question remains whether the party truly belongs to the left-wing, says Mladina, noting that historically speaking, the SD is a leftist party, but neoliberal views and alleged involvement in controversial deals have cast a shadow on its policies and integrity.

Selecting Fajon as the new SD leader has been a good choice and not too risky since she is "a full-blooded politician", ambitious and popular, with MEP experience that have given her a wider perspective.

The paper also points out that Fajon is the only Slovenian MEP so far to have climbed quite high in the political hierarchy of the European Parliament.

Nevertheless, she is faced with various challenges. "Both other leading left parties are much stronger in terms of their programmes and ideologies even though they are weaker regarding staff".

Fajon is unlikely to tackle the party's unresolved issues or to reform it right away, but she still needs to move it to the left.

"That will not be easy since the moment she does that, the party's sinecure interests, which are aplenty, would be threatened. But if she fails to do that, voters' support would be quick to vanish."

Her potential downfall could also be instigated by hubris or having a thin skin as a politician, typical traits in Slovenian politics, says the editorial, headlined An Opportunity for Tanja Fajon.

"Gradually it will become clear who will be Fajon's right-hand persons inside and outside the party," argues editor-in-chief Grega Repovž, adding that such choices always indicate the future of a politician.

Reporter: Why Janša wants to subjugate RTV Slovenija

STA, 20 July 2020 - The right-leaning magazine Reporter finds in the latest editorial that PM Janez Janša wants to subjugate the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija, just like leftist governments before him have.

Editor-in-chief Silvester Šurla opens his piece headlined Golobič Looking for a New Drnovšek by saying that Gregor Golobič, an influential secretary general during the decade-long rule of the Liberal Democrats (LDS), "is said to be feverishly looking for a new Janez Drnovšek. Yet another 'new face' with realistic chances of defeating Janša's SDS in the election."

The reference is to Slovenia's late leader who as LDS chairman served as prime minister for a decade before going on to become Slovenia's president.

Šurla says the "deep state's scenario" is to call a vote of no confidence in the Janša government by putting forward a new PM-designate this autumn, followed by an early election next spring.

This is why he believes that if the third Janša government does not fall by the end of the year, it will stay on until the regular election in the first half of 2022.

Šurla notes the growing discontent among the membership of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) as well as the "slippery slope" Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek stands on, not only because of the controversy surrounding the procurement of medical supplies, but also because the Administrative Court has upheld the anti-graft watchdog's findings that his meetings with Janez Zemljarič, the boss of the Communist-era secret police turned lobbyist, had been unlawful.

Šurla writes that Janša appears to be aware of how critical the situation is, which is why he is trying to turn all the attacks on his government and his person to his own advantage, portraying himself in public as a victim of the deep state.

A bigger threat to him than the weak opposition is the law enforcement authorities and the media, hence the replacements and legislative changes.

"The clash for the media is a clash for power. Any pretence is superfluous," writes Šurla, adding that unlike in Hungary or Serbia, the ruling regime no longer controls key media in Slovenia, like Milan Kučan or Janez Drnovšek or 'new faces' coming after them used to do.

Noting that Janša has been taking control of the media when in power, and that he has also been founding his own, he says the "biggest subject of political desire is now (again) RTV Slovenija. The large outsized media mammoth, which even after the change of regime has mostly served the political interests of the left (...).

"No matter what he says, Janša does not really want to depoliticise RTV, but rather subjugate it as much as possible, similarly as leftist governments were subjugating it more or less successfully during the transition.

"The incumbent prime minister is one of the many Slovenian politicians who have a perverted attitude to the media. Those are considered independent and objective only when they report in his favour or to the detriment of his political rivals."

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