What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Politics of Epidemic vs Overthrowing Janša

By , 10 Jan 2021, 11:29 AM Politics
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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 8 January 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Govt decisions in epidemic politically motivated

STA, 8 January 2020 - The left-wing weekly Mladina argues in its latest commentary entitled For Political Reasons that PM Janez Janša decided to ease some coronavirus restrictions in mid-December for mere political reasons, as the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) was just about to leave the coalition and it became obvious that a motion of no-confidence would be tabled.

It makes very little difference if he decided on the move - which has not only rendered school reopening impossible but also jeopardised the lives and health of the people - to please the head of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), Zdravko Počivalšek, knowing that disobedient coalition MPs will have a harder time crossing to the opposition in a serious crisis.

This does not change the fact that he decided to expose people to risks and increase the burden on medical staff, which are on the verge of collapse, for purely political reasons.

His statement that the government decided to partly lift the restrictions during the holidays after the European Council assessed that the psychological consequences of the restrictions could do more harm than partly relaxing some, and that the government had been aware of the fact that this will have its consequences, is telling.

Firstly, it means he was fully aware of the consequences of his decision, and secondly, he has chosen his words carefully because he knows he is accountable for his decisions.

But the most important thing is that the PM is consciously concealing the truth, because Slovenia did not ease restrictions during the holidays but 10 days before Christmas, when all other countries introduced stricter measures to prevent an escalation during the holidays.

This why in Germany for example, the situation now is not as horrible as in Slovenia.

Janša is also trying to show that this was not his decision but the decision of the European Council. "This is not true. The European Council has made no such decision (debate and decisions are available at www.consilium.europa.eu), and, as previously mentioned, other countries acted differently," Mladina says.

By tailoring the truth like this, Janša has revealed he is aware of the fact that he is walking on thin ice. Data show no mercy. According to Mladina, the PM's actions should be yet another argument why SMC MPs should support a no-confidence motion on 15 January.

Reporter: KUL will persist in attempts to overthrow Janša

STA, 4 January 2020 - While the initial attempt by the informal Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL) to overthrow the government of Janez Janša may have been unsuccessful, the right-wing weekly Reporter says in its latest commentary that the KUL will probably continue with these attempts until the summer as it has nothing to lose.

Under the headline 2020 Would Not Let Us Out of Its Claws, the right-leaning weekly says that the plan is to convince the MPs of the Modern Centre Party (SMC) to switch to the KUL, but the past moves by its main names do not inspire trust in their political skills.

"The president of the LMŠ and former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec embarrassed himself with the resignation that, instead of early election, led to Janša assuming power. The first prime minister-designate candidate Jože P. Damijan has not been hiding from the very beginning that heading a government is the last thing he wants."

Reporter goes on to note that Luka Mesec, the coordinator of the Left who had been undermining the former coalition that he has supposedly officially supported, should himself be given a lot of credit for Janša's return to the Government Palace.

If the KUL also fails this month, it will only be the first of the battles in the war against Janša because, if the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) president Karl Erjavec is not successful, they will try with a new candidate for prime minister-designate.

"And then perhaps with someone else. They are ready to keep undermining him all the way to the summer and the start of Slovenia's presidency of the European Union? Why not," Reporter says, adding that the KUL parties have nothing to lose with unsuccessful attempts.

On the other hand, if they give up, they risk losing the trust of the part of the electorate that is willing to support them primarily because of their opposition to Janez Janša, and not because they like one of the leaders of these parties.

"It is true that they do not have very promising, respected and competent candidates to challenge Janša, but as the candidacy of Erjavec shows, desperate times call for desperate measures," concludes the commentary.

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