STA, 7 August 2020 - Anti-government protests continued for the 16th straight Friday in Ljubljana, this time targeting the handling of coronavirus outbreaks at care homes. Meanwhile, dozens took to the streets in Izola following the reports that the coastal town had paid two hotel rooms for Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec.
Protesters in Ljubljana converged on Prešeren Square where they were addressed by Biserka Marolt Meden, the head of an NGO promoting the rights of older people, who lambasted the government policy on aged care facilities and the idea that infected residents should be put up in mobile units.
The protesters demonstrated their opposition to the idea with an impromptu theatrical performance that saw activists carrying politicians' masks being taken by protesters to a container terminal set up at the finish of the protest march near Pionirski Dom.
Poln trg. pic.twitter.com/G0ua4yzXVZ— Marin Medak (@marinmedak) August 7, 2020
There, a letter was read out written by residents of a care home who expressed their grievances about the lack of social contacts and noted that the right to treatment is a constitutional right. The protest ended with red smoke billowing from the container as a way of demonstrating that such mobile units "may not be the best solution for those ending up in them".
The first of the "politicians" to be taken to the container was the one carrying the mask of Aleksandra Pivec, the agriculture minister and head of the Pensioners Party (DeSUS), who has become embroiled in a series of allegations of corruption, including that the town of Izola paid for a hotel bill for her and her two sons.
Pivec was also the target of protests in Izola, where the participants also demanded the resignation of Mayor Danilo Markočič, a member of Pivec's DeSUS, who has also come under fire for allegations that he has sold an olive orchard for EUR 244,000 to a Russian businessman whose company last year bought a building plot in an elite location from the municipality.
The mayor has rejected calls for resignation, saying he had done nothing wrong.
The protest in Izola was also attended by Ivan Gale, the whistleblower from the Commodity Reserves Agency who has exposed alleged wrongdoing in the procurement of medical supplies.
Protests were also held in other parts of the country.