What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Care Homes vs EU Budget

By , 01 Aug 2020, 12:13 PM Politics
What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Care Homes vs EU Budget Covers from the weeklies' social media accounts

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work week ending Friday, 30 July 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Gross negligence over care homes

STA, 31 July 2020 - The left-wing weekly Mladina argues in its latest editorial that the government has committed a criminal offence of negligence by failing to prevent a repeated coronavirus outbreak at care homes despite knowing what happened there in the first wave of infections.

Grega Repovž, the editor-in-chief, writes that the situation at the Hrastnik care home, a major Covid-19 hotspot in the country, is different than in the case of outbreaks at aged care facilities during the first wave.

It was an error of judgement not to admit infected care home residents to hospitals and isolate them outside the homes, and "the fact could not be denied that fewer elderly would have got sick and fewer would have died" given a different course of action, "but we do not think this was done in ill faith", he writes.

"The Hrastnik case is different. It is different because today we all know most care homes are built in such a way that it is impossible to prevent infected air from spreading between units and floors (...).

"However, the ministries of health and labour and the PM - who publicly interferes in everything - have made no plan in those months how to rescue the aged residents," Repovž writes under the headline Conscious Negligence.

He says the authorities can no longer cite the state of emergency as an excuse, also because of many examples of best practice, including in Croatia, where healthy residents have been immediately moved out of the infected building.

"You do not have to be an epidemiologist to know the biggest risk is socialising in large groups in indoor places. In that respect care homes are much riskier than nurseries or schools."

Repovž goes on to say that care homes are even more risky than night clubs and bars the government has been warning about. He also says that there are plenty of empty facilities - from empty hotels to youth hostels and dorms - that care home residents could be moved to and dispersed into smaller groups.

"When the infection breaks in, the elderly are systematically left there, in the homes without good ventilation, knowing the infection will spread and some will die because of it (...). It is an act of negligence. Negligent conduct that leads to death is a criminal offence in Slovenia."

Demokracija: EU budget success

STA, 30 July 2020 – Demokracija, the right-wing weekly, commends in its latest commentary PM Janez Janša for standing firm in the negotiations for the next EU budget, which it argues has brought Slovenia credibility and more funds. It meanwhile berates the opposition for minimising and relativising what it deems as a success.

"The ruffle in the Slovenian opposition shows that they do not even know what this was about," Jože Biščak, the editor-in-chief of the right-leaning weekly says under the headline Club of Elite Liars.

It was not only about money in Brussels, but also about control - and not only control of the use of money, but over countries themselves, as a desire was expressed for the EU to become a federation and Brussels the flag bearer of the ideology.

"The rule of law, which sounds nice, is collateral damage, an excuse for forcing progressive migration policy on Poland and Hungary," the weekly adds.

"The defiance and firm negotiating positions of the Visegrad Group countries, which were joined by Slovenia, that the eligibility to funds for the recovery of Europe must not be made conditional on sovereign countries giving up on their concern for the nations's culture, tradition and identity and sovereignty ... was an important (stage) win."

Demokracija adds that "despite the great foreign policy success for Slovenia, the media mainstream and opposition kept minimising and relativising the matter all the time, lied about it and manipulated with it, and accused the ruling coalition of giving up on the rule of law."

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